Business Irish

Wednesday 24 January 2018

Medical products drive drop-off in exports

Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

EXPORTS recovered in July but were down 3pc from the same month last year, official data shows.

Preliminary figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show exports rose by €184m to €7.3bn. But despite the positive news, exports were still down €209m on July 2012.

The main driver behind the fall-off in the year was a 13pc drop in exports of medical and pharmaceutical products.

The trade surplus, however, was up 8pc to €3.2bn, with analysts claiming the figures showed that the State's trade performance was gradually improving after a weak start to the year.

Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton said the improving figures were encouraging after a number of challenging months for the export sector.

"While conditions in international markets remain difficult, Irish companies and multinational companies based in Ireland are working very hard and can compete with the very best on the global stage.

"The figures, coming after a challenging period in export markets earlier this year, are very welcome."

The CSO data for July shows:

* Exports up €184m to €7.3bn, while imports decreased €61m, or 2pc, to €4.1bn.

* This resulted in a trade surplus increase of 8pc to €3.2bn

* Compared with July 2012, the value of exports decreased €209m to €7.6bn.

* Exports of food and live animals were up €101m.

* The EU accounted for more than half of total exports, while the US was the main non-EU destination, with 18pc.

* Compared with July 2012, the value of imports increased by €105m to €3.3bn, with the 12pc jump in food and live animals driving the increase.

Specialist bank Investec said it expected an improvement in services exports given the strength in the various PMI readings.

Irish Independent

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