Written answers

Thursday, 8 February 2024

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Trade Data

Photo of Matt ShanahanMatt Shanahan (Waterford, Independent)
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57. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment position regarding the continuing decline in Irish overall exports over the past two years; what evaluation his Department is doing to understand any and what may be the main drivers of this export drop; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5745/24]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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The Central Statistics Office (CSO) compiles statistical data in relation to Goods Exports and Imports.

According to the CSO, the value of our total goods exports was €166 billion in 2021 and €209 billion in 2022 which was the highest figure on record. The value of goods exports for the period January to November 2023 was valued at €183 billion. Statistics for the full year 2023 will be released by the CSO later this month.

The Central Bank publishes a quarterly report which analyses Ireland’s economic performance, including export performance. In its Q3 report 2023, the Central Bank reported that overall exports fell by 2.8 per cent in the first three quarters of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022. This was due mainly to lower activity in the pharmaceutical and ICT manufacturing sectors). The report notes that Pharmaceutical and Chemical exports from Ireland were boosted in recent years by Covid-19 vaccines and that this activity has declined in 2023 as expected.

While the value of pharmaceutical exports over the first nine months of 2023 was 5.5 per cent lower than in 2022, exports are 29 per cent above the level for the same period in 2021. Consequently, and with general prospects for the pharmaceutical sector remaining positive, once the exceptional pandemic-related export performance during 2022 drops out of annual comparisons, the Central Bank has commented that the outlook for growth in 2024 and beyond is favourable.


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