Tuesday, July 19, 2011

19/07/2011: Irish Trade Stats for May 2011

External trade figures for May (provisional) and terms of trade figures for April are out this week, so time to do some updates.

PS: Please, note - the source for these is CSO and all complaints about numerical values reported/shown arising due to some readers disliking some results for whatever reason - out to them.

  • Imports in May 2011 came in at €3,727.9 million in seasonally adjusted terms, which was €1,199.6 million below April figure (-24.35% mom), €154.7 million above the same figure in May 2010 (+4.33%) and €357.5 million below May 2009 figure (-8.75%).
  • Exports in May 2011 came in at €7,511.3 million which was €48.8 million below April figure (-0.65%), up €76 million (+1.02%) yoy and up €534.6 million (+7.66%) on May 2009.
  • Trade balance in May stood at €3,783.5 million which is €1,150.9 million above April 2011 level (+43.72% mom), but down €78.7 million (-2.04%) yoy and up €892.2 million (+30.86%) on May 2009.

  • Terms of trade continued to improve (vis-a-vis external sales with price of exports ratio to the price of imports falling) in April (there is 1 month lag in TT data compared to trade volumes data), posting an improvement for the 4th consecutive month. TT measured index 76.6, down from 77.1 in March and down 8.70 points yoy (-10.20%). Compared to April 2009, this year April reading was down 11.80 points or 13.35%.

So mapping the above progression:
The chart above suggests that in 2011 we are potentially entering some structural (and much expected - remember IMF forecast for trade growth for Ireland is about 50% below that attained in 2010) slowdown in the rate of growth in external trade.

Lastly, imports-intensity of exports (a ratio of exports volume to imports) has increased in May from 153.4% in April to 201.5% in May 2011 - an increase of 31.3% mom. At the same time, imports-intensity declined from a year ago by 3.2% although it is up on May 2009 by 18.0%.
So courtesy of CSO:
  • "With seasonally adjusted exports remaining static and imports decreasing by 24% (or €1,200m) between April and May, the trade surplus increased by 44% to €3,784m" in mom terms. The improvement, therefore is solely due to decline in inputs imports and further contraction in consumption.
  • "On an unadjusted basis, the value of exports in May 2011 (€7,390m) was slightly down (-0.6%) on the May 2010 figure of €7,435m. The value of imports (€3,749m) was up 5% on the May 2010 figure."
In January-April 2011, compared to the same period in 2010 exports increased by 8% to €31,161m:
  • Exports of Medical and pharmaceutical products increased by 17% or €1,324m,
  • Organic chemicals by 14% or €896m
  • Overall Chemical and related products category exports rose from €17,347.3m in January-April 2010 to €19,607.7m in the same period of 2011, while imports in this category rose from €2,889.9m to €3,591.9m over the same period of time
  • Petroleum by 126% or €208m. of course over the same period, petroleum imports rose from €1,410.1m to €1,752.8m
  • Exports of food and live animals rose from €2,077.1m to €2,465.1m as trade balance in this category rose from €635.4m in the first 4 months of 2010 to €831.0 million in the same period of 2011
  • Exports of goods to the USA increased by 17% or €1,069m, to France by 18% or €276m and to Switzerland by 25% or €258m. Exports to Belgium fell by 5% or €232m and to Spain by 19% or €225m.
  • In the first four months of 2011, 52% of Ireland’s exports went to the USA, Belgium and Great Britain.
Over the same period, imports increased by 13% to €17,293m:
  • Imports of Other transport equipment (including aircraft) increased by 27% or €401m,
  • Petroleum increased by 24% or €342m and
  • Medical and pharmaceutical products by 22% or €251m.
  • Goods from Great Britain rose by 19% or €782m, from the United States by 7% or €188m and from Germany by 15% or €167m.
  • Over half (54%) of Ireland’s imports came from Great Britain, the USA and Germany in the first four months of 2011.
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