Trade surplus drops by 12% in February – CSO

New preliminary figures from the Central Statistics Office show the volume of exports decreased by €604m, or 4%, to stand at €13.22 billion in February compared with January.

The CSO also said that imports increased by €265m, or 4%, to €6.925 billion.

This resulted in a decrease of €868m – down 12% – in the seasonally adjusted trade surplus to €6.295 billion in February compared with the previous month.

Today’s CSO figures also show that the unadjusted value of exports for February stood at €12.614 billion, an increase of 21% on the same time last year.

The value of exports in January and February stood at €26.313 billion, up 17% when compared with the first two months of 2018.

The CSO said the biggest rate of growth in seen in exports of organic chemicals, which increased by 68% to €2.870 billion, while exports of medical and pharmaceutical products rose by 9%.

Meanwhile, exports of electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances were 32% higher and exports of office machinery and automatic data processing machines increased by 35%, the CSO said.

On the imports front, the unadjusted value of goods imports in February amounted to €6.356 billion, down 1% on the same time last year.

Imports of other transport equipment, including aircraft, decreased by 20% in February, while imports of food and live animals increased by 14% and imports of medical and pharmaceutical products fell by 37%.

The CSO also noted that exports to Great Britain increased by 16% to €1.224 billion in February on the back of a rise in exports of mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials.

Exports to Great Britain accounted for 10% of total exports in February of this year.

Meanwhile, imports from Great Britain were up 19% to €1.642 billion. The main increases were in the imports of mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials and Machinery and transport equipment.

Imports from Great Britain were 26% of the value of total imports in February.

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