IRELAND's trade surplus increased fractionally to €3.4bn in June with a monthly fall in both goods exports and imports, according to the latest data from the Central Statistics Office.
The drop in imports outstripped exports, but over the year the value of the country's crucial exports rose.
Analysts have said that brighter prospects among Ireland's trading partners and favourable currency moves will create a tailwind for exporters this year.
Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton said exporting companies were contributing significantly to the performance of the Irish economy.
"Driving enterprise and export growth, leading to job creation, will continue to be a major focus for the Government over the coming month," he said.
Fiona Hayes, analyst with Cantor Fitzgerald Ireland, said there were signs that the effect of the so-called pharmaceutical patent cliff, which dented the sector in recent years, may be beginning to wane.
"Organic chemicals exports were up 7.4pc on the January to June period, whereas medical and pharmaceutical exports were down 4.8pc - however, these swings are less aggressive than those witnessed during 2012 and 2013, lending some support to the view that the impact of the pharmaceutical cliff is waning, in turn arguing for a more predictable contribution to growth from goods exports going forward," she said.
The preliminary June data showed the trade surplus increased marginally to €3.4bn from May. Goods exports were down 4pc on the month and imports fell 7pc.
Comparing June this year with June 2013, the value of exports increased by €439m, or 6pc, to €7.8bn.