The value of Irish exports fell by nearly €2.4 billion between October and November amid further signs of downturn in global trade.
The latest trade figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show goods exports decreased by 17 per cent to €11.9 billion in November on the back of a fall-off in exports of chemicals and pharmaceutical products.
However, the CSO cautioned that the monthly numbers can be volatile and that the November figure comes on the back of several strong months.
The value of goods exports for the first 11 months of the year was up 9 per cent €140.7 billion, when compared with 2018.
Goods imports also fell by €1. 3 billion or 17 per cent to €6.4 billion in November on the back of decline in aircraft imports.
This gave rise to a seasonally adjusted trade surplus of €5.5 billion in November.
The monthly export numbers were driven by decreases in exports of organic chemicals, and medical and pharmaceutical products, which fell by 5 per cent and 2 per cent respectively.
The State’s export trade is dominated by pharmaceuticals, which account for more than 60 per cent of total goods exports because of the strong multinational pharma manufacturing base here.
Transport equipment imports
On the other side, imports of other transport equipment, including aircraft decreased by over €2 billion or 75 per cent to €689 million.
The European Union accounted for €5.8 billion (46 per cent) of total goods exports in November, of which €1.5 billion and €778 million went Germany and the Netherlands respectively.
The US was the main non-EU destination, accounting for just under €4.1 billion (33 per cent) of total exports.
The figures show the Republic’s trade with the UK fell slightly in 2019. The value of Irish goods exports to our nearest neighbour decreased by 3 per cent to €12.5 billion in the first 11 months of 2019, driven in the main by decreased exports of chemicals and related products, and food and live animals.