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Trade surplus widens by 18pc in April

Friday, June 13 11:16:33

A small dip in exports but a significant fall in imports during April contributed to a widening of Ireland's trade surplus with the rest of the world of 18pc.

The so-called patent cliff in Ireland's multinational-dominated biotech industry hit the country's exports in April but with the trade surplus boosted by a sharp fall in imports.

Preliminary figures for April 2014 from the CSO show that seasonally adjusted exports decreased slightly by E45 million (-1pc) to E6,871 million from March 2014 but there was a 5pc drop in the annual figure.

Coupled with a decrease in seasonally adjusted imports of E483 million (-11pc) to E3,996 million from March, the seasonally adjusted trade surplus increased by E439 million (+18pc). Comparing April 2014 with April 2013, the value of exports decreased by E367 million (-5pc) to E7,106 million. The main drivers were decreases of E372 million (-18pc) in the exports of Medical and pharmaceutical products and E138 million (-9pc) in Organic chemicals.

On an overall basis the EU accounted for E3,750 million (53pc) of total exports in April 2014. The USA was the main non-EU destination accounting for 24pc (E1,738 million) of total exports in April 2014.

Comparing April 2014 with April 2013, the value of imports rose marginally by E14 million to E4,253 million. Imports of Other transport equipment (including aircraft) increased by E105 million (+172pc).

The EU accounted for 61pc of the value of imports in April 2014, with 29pc coming from Great Britain. The USA (13pc) and China (6pc) were the main non-EU sources of imports.