Thursday, June 24, 2010

Economics 24/06/2010: Irish exports & trade stats

Trade stats are out today for Ireland. Here are few illustrations and trend discussions.
Clearly, exports have rose in April, after a seasonally adjusted decline in March. We are now again above the trend line, and since January 2009, the trend line is flatter than over the entire sample, which means exports performance remains relatively strong. However, this does not mean things are great. April 2010 exports are down 9.9% on April 2009 and up only 2.22% on April 2008. They are down 6.6% on April 2007. Exports were down 7.7% in March 2010 in year on year terms. So despite flashing above the long run trend line, exports are still under pressure.

Imports have posted significant rise. Imports increased by 8% between March and April 2010.

In Q1 overall, exports fell from €21,911m to €20,789m down -5%. This was driven by:
  • Organic chemicals falling by 17%, Computer equipment by 42% and Other transport equipment (including aircraft) by 85%, offset by
  • Exports of Medical and pharmaceutical products increase of 8% and Metalliferous ores increase of 75%.
Over the same period, imports decreased from €12,527m to €11,030m, down -12%:
  • Computer equipment decreased by 54%, Other transport equipment (including aircraft) by 42% and Electrical machinery by 11%.
  • Imports of Petroleum increased by 25%, Medical and pharmaceutical products by 19% and Road vehicles by 30%.
Trade balance remained flat in April relative to March:
Trade balance is now below long-term trend line. Between April 2009 and April 2010 trade balance fell a whooping 25.7%, much larger drop than the decrease between March 2009 and March 2010 -9.5%. However, trade balance is extremely healthy compared to 2008 - up 38.4% on April 2008.

Terms of trade stats are not updated from December 2009:
But, due to our exports reliance on imported inputs (see my earlier post on IMF statement today), there is basically no relationship between Ireland's terms of trade and our exports activity:
Geographic snapshots for top 30 countries by volume of exports in Q1 2010:
US down, UK down. Total EU exports down. Euro zone down in double digits. All double-digit gains are in the smaller trading partners (less than 1% of total trade volumes).

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