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Brexit and pandemic combine for big hit to Irish trade with Britain
Latest data shows surge in trade between North and Republic

Brexit and the pandemic have damaged the Republic's trading relationship with Britain with the latest trade numbers showing a major fall-off in exports and imports. The latest figures also point however to a surge in trade between the Republic and the North.

According to the Central Statistics Office (CSO), the value of goods imports from Britain fell by 57 per cent or €1.6 billion during the first two months of 2021 compared with the same period last year, while exports declined by 12 per cent or €250 million.


Meanwhile, the figures show a sizeable pick-up in trade between the Republic and Northern Ireland, suggesting more firms appear to be using the North as a channel to move goods between the Republic and Britain since Brexit.

Imports from Northern Ireland into the Republic almost doubled to €283 million in February compared with the same month last year - half of the increase related to pharma - while the value of exports from the Republic to Northern Ireland rose by 38 per cent to €232 million.

The overall figures for February pointed to another strong month for Irish exports, which rose marginally to €13.1 billion on the back of strong pharma exports.

Exports of medical and pharmaceutical products in February were valued at €4.5 million, up 35 per cent on the same month last year.

The Republic's pharma sector has benefited from a strong pick-up in demand linked to the pandemic.

The value of goods imports fell slightly to €6.9 billion, which gave rise to a seasonally adjusted trade surplus of €6.2 billion.

The EU accounted for €4.6 billion (38 per cent ) of total exports in February, of which €1.4 billion went to Germany and €1 billion went to Belgium. The figures show exports to EU countries in February decreased by 1 per cent compared with February last year.

The US was the main non-EU destination accounting for €4.3 billion (35 per cent) of exports in February.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Apr 15th, 2021 at 06:53:59 PM EST

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