THE LATEST EXPORT figures from the CSO show that exports rose by 6 per cent, or €84.2bn, last year in comparison with 2009.
Minister for Enterprise Richard Bruton said in a statement that the €162.7bn total in exports is the highest ever for Ireland and news of the increased exports was “very welcome indeed”.
One of the largest sector increases was for medical and pharmaceutical supplies, which increased by €24.3bn – a 15 per cent rise on the year before.
Exports of “mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials” almost doubled between the end of 2009 and 2010, up from €594.8m to €1.027bn. The value of imports for that category also rose, from €4.445bn to €5.57bn (29 per cent).
Computer equipment and transport equipment saw major decreases over 2010 – down 30 per cent and 66 per cent respectively.
Overall, almost two-thirds of Irish exports went to the US, an increase of 14 per cent for the year. Exports to Germany were also up, but exports to Belgium were down.
Imports for 2010 were relatively unchanged from 2009’s levels, however there was a 73 per cent jump in the import of road vehicles. Although imports from Germany and Norway were up 15 per cent and 49 per cent respectively, imports from the US dropped 18 per cent.
However, the US remains one of Ireland’s top sources for imports, coming in at second place for 14 per cent of our imports, behind Great Britain, which accounts for 30 per cent.
Preliminary estimates for January 2011 suggest a 1 per cent drop in exports on January 2010 and an increase of some 25 per cent on imports.