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Trade surplus widens to over €4 billion

Exports continued to grow in September, but imports fell leaving a surplus of €4.113bn.

Image: AP Photo/Charles Krupa/PA Images

IRISH EXPORTS INCREASED by 2 per cent in September to €7.9bn and imports fell 5 per cent to €3.8bn, meaning the trade surplus rose 11 per cent that month.

The total trade surplus hit €4.113bn, according to the Central Statistics Office.

Meanwhile, exports increased by 4 per cent to €61.235bn over the first eight months of the year compared to the same period of 2010.

Year-on-year, the seasonally-adjusted value of Irish exports increased 3 per cent in September 2011 compared to last year, while the value of imports fell by the same percentage.

Petroleum products showed the highest percentage increase in exports, growing by almost two-thirds (63 per cent; €338m) between January and September 2011 compared to 2010. Exports of medical and pharmaceutical products rose 11 per cent (€1.854bn) and organic chemicals by 9 per cent (€1.134bn).

Over half of all exports (52 per cent) over this period went to the US, Belgium and Great Britain. Meanwhile, a similar level  - 53 per cent – of all imports came from the US, Great Britain and Germany.

Although imports fell in September, they grew by 7 per cent overall across the first eight months 2011 to €32.268bn, with the largest increases across petroleum, pharmaceutical and organic chemical products (up 27 percent, 20 per cent and 33 per cent respectively).

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton welcomed today’s figures, saying that a strong export performance is “crucial” for Ireland’s economic recovery.

“Clearly the current difficulties in the markets into which we export make this a lot more precarious. In that context, today’s figures showing a continued strong export performance are extremely welcome,” he added.

Read more: €15 million made in new export contracts and alliances >

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