New figures published by The Central Statistics Office reveal that Irish exports have risen by 21% since this time last year.
The rise in exports is the highest figure in thirteen years. The value has now grown to over €9 billion, a peak that hasn’t been reached since May 2002.
A combination of a weak Euro and the pharmaceutical industry’s expanding growth, are key reasons for the upsurge in Irish exports for the first three months of the year.
The drivers of exports were pharmaceutical and medical products accounting for €1 billion or 58% increase, and exports of Organic chemicals increased by €298 million or 18%.
The upsurge in pharmaceutical sales isn’t a surprise, 9 of the 10 biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world are based in Ireland, making it the largest net exporter of pharmaceuticals in the EU.
The European Union accounted for over €5 billion or 56% of total exports, making it Ireland’s most popular region to export to. 13% of those exports were delivered to the United Kingdom.
America accounted for €2.1 billion or 23% of total exports, followed by Switzerland, China, and Japan.
Speaking about the figures, Philip O’Sullivan, an Investec economist said: “With chemicals and related products accounting for roughly three-fifths of Irish merchandise exports, developments in that sector can significantly distort the headline trade statistics.”
“The underlying narrative is one of broad based growth in exports, propelled by favourable currency moves and the improved economic performance of a number of Ireland’s key trading partners.”
“Elsewhere, the upturn in investment and personal consumption here has led to an increased appetite for imports. We expect to see more of the same in the months ahead.”