Irish exports surge to record €160bn in 2020 despite pandemic

The value of Irish goods exports hit a record €160.8 billion last year despite the global economic slump.

This was an increase of €8.3 billion (5 per cent) on 2019 and comes on the back of a surge in exports of medical and pharmaceutical products.

The latest trade numbers from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show the value of exports in those sectors rocketed by 25 per cent to €62 billion last year, accounting for 39 per cent of all Irish goods exports in 2020.

The Republic is a global hub for pharma and medtech, playing host to 24 of the top 25 biggest players, including Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Roche, Novartis and AbbVie.

These companies have been ramping up production to meet soaring demand for medicines and products connected with the treatment of Covid-19.

The latest figures show the value of imports fell by 6 per cent last year to €85 billion.

This generated a record trade surplus of €75 billion. The value of seasonally adjusted goods exports decreased by €2 billion (14 per cent) to €12.5 billion in the month of December, the figures show, while the value of goods imports decreased by 19 per cent to €7 billion on a seasonally adjusted basis.

The value of exports to Britain in 2020 fell by 9 per cent to €12.4 million and accounted for 8 per cent of total Irish exports.

Imports from Britain totalled €17.8 billion, a decrease of 5 per cent, when compared with 2019, meaning the Republic ran a trade deficit of €5.4 billion with Britain in 2020. Imports from Britain accounted for 21 per cent of total Irish imports in 2020.

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