Irish Pharma and Medical Exports Take a €5.5bn Hit in 2021

“Pharma and Medical Exports in Ireland Experience €5.5bn Decline, Raising Concerns for Multinationals Dominating the Sector”
Irish Pharma and Medical Exports Take a €5.5bn Hit in 2021

The latest figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) reveal a significant decline in the value of pharmaceutical and medical exports in Ireland. The data shows that these exports are currently running approximately €5.5 billion below the levels recorded last year. This is a cause for concern as the pharmaceutical and medical sectors make a substantial contribution to Ireland’s overall export figures. The unexpected drop in exports earlier this year has raised questions about potential wider or company-specific issues within the industry. Economists suggest that the dominance of multinational companies in this sector means that any weakness could serve as an early warning sign.

In the first five months of this year, the total value of chemical and related products exports decreased from €58 billion to €54.4 billion compared to the same period in 2022. Medical and pharmaceutical exports account for the majority of chemical exports, and they have seen a significant decline from €30.6 billion to €25.1 billion, representing a decrease of approximately €5.5 billion. Furthermore, the latest data shows that exports of medical and pharmaceutical products continued to decline in May, with a decrease of nearly €600 million or 8% compared to May 2022.

Overall, Ireland’s total exports have also experienced a decline, dropping from €87 billion in the first five months of 2022 to €82.5 billion in the same period this year. Notably, exports to the United States have seen a sharp decrease during this period. However, trade between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland has remained relatively stable, according to the CSO figures. Exports from the Republic to the North amounted to €1.9 billion, while imports stood at €2.1 billion.

On the other hand, exports to Britain have shown a modest increase of 6%, reaching €7.2 billion, while imports have also seen a slight rise of 2% to €9.4 billion. These figures indicate that despite the challenges posed by Brexit, trade with Britain has remained resilient. The CSO data provides valuable insights into the current state of Ireland’s trade and highlights the importance of closely monitoring the performance of the pharmaceutical and medical sectors, as they play a crucial role in the country’s export landscape.