Exports slow by 17% in September on lower pharma and electronics
Exports of goods from Ireland fell 17% in September, compared to the same month of last year, driven in large part by a further sizeable drop in sales of pharmaceutical related products and electronics.
In total, goods valued at just under €16 billion were exported during the month, compared to €19.4 billion in September of 2022, the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office show.
Compared to August of this year, exports in September were just over €200m lower.
It is the second month in a row where exports are down compared to the same month last year.
Comparing the first nine months of this year with the same period of 2022, exports of goods were down 6%, at €149 billion.
Exports of goods in the Organic Chemicals segment, which includes raw materials used in pharmaceutical manufacturing, fell by €1.6 billion or 37% in September to €2.7 billion when compared with a year earlier.
Exports of Medical & Pharmaceutical Products, which made up 38% of total exports in the month, decreased by 9% or €558m to just under €6 billion in the month, compared to September 2022.
The decline in exports related to the pharmaceutical sector has previously been largely attributed by experts to the drop in production here of vaccines and medicines related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The value of exports of Electrical Machinery, Apparatus and Appliances, which includes high-value semi-conductors, was 45% lower at €723m.
Economists have linked the fall off in sales of semi-conductors manufactured in Ireland to lower exports to China and the US, due to global economic headwinds, changes in demand for certain tech products and government policy changes internationally.
Total exports to Great Britain fell by 16% to €1.2 billion in September when compared with the same month a year ago.
The largest decrease of 46% was in the category of Chemicals and Related Products.
Over the first nine months of the year, exports to Great Britain are up 8% or €1 billion to €13.8 billion when compared with the same period of last year.
The EU accounted for €7 billion or 44% of total goods exports in September 2023, while the US was the main non-EU destination accounting for €4.4 billion or 27% of total exports.
Meanwhile, total imports also fell during September versus the same month a year earlier, dropping 14% or €1.8 billion to €11 billion.
Imports from Great Britain fell by 11% while the largest drop was in the imports of Mineral Fuels, Lubricants & Related Materials which were down by 72%, reflecting a wider 56% decrease across all countries in this category.