Goods exports to the UK rise again despite slump in sterling

By Eamon Quinn

Exports of goods across the Irish Sea have increased again despite the dampening effects of the slump in sterling since the Brexit vote which ought to have weighed on sales into the UK for firms based in the Republic.

The new evidence that many firms are beating most of the currency-driven effects of Brexit, at least at this stage, come after GDP figures published earlier this week showed that businesses were selling into the UK strongly in 2017, although the growth in exports lagged that of goods sales to the rest of the world.

New official figures show that at over €1.18bn goods exports to the UK rose 25% in January from January 2017 though the increase in value “was almost entirely” driven by chemicals and related products, the CSO said.

Chemical products include medical and pharmaceutical products and tend to be made and exported by the huge number of multinational drugmakers based here.

Overall, pharmaceutical exports in January to all parts of the world, including the UK, soared to almost €4.32bn in the month from €3.11bn in January 2017, according to detailed CSO figures.

However, total exports to the UK and all other countries of food and live animals, which reflect products sold in the main by Irish-owned firms, were also up, to €838m from €789m in January 2017.

Imports fell overall: The CSO said its seasonally- adjusted tally of imports from all countries eased 1% to €6.82bn. Imports from Britain rose to over €1.42bn in the month, up €123m or by 9% from January 2017.

The value of imports of cars globally fell to €390m from €423m a year earlier.

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