Irish Exports Experience €3bn Decline in First Half of the Year
The latest data from the Central Statistics Office has revealed a significant drop of €3bn in the value of Irish exports during the first six months of this year. This decline has once again drawn attention to the medical device and pharmaceutical sectors in particular. The figures indicate that the total value of goods exports fell to €102bn between January and June, down from just over €105bn during the same period last year.
One notable area of decline was seen in medical and pharma exports, which experienced a sharp drop of 18% in exports destined for the US. These exports, which constitute the largest share of all Irish goods exports, fell from €42.7bn in 2022 to €37.7bn in the first half of this year. However, there are some positive signs of recovery as the value of medical and pharma exports in June 2023 increased compared to June 2022.
The United States serves as a major market for medical device and pharma products manufactured by foreign-owned giants that have established significant operations in Ireland. The decrease in pharma exports has raised concerns about the impact on the industry based in the country. Economists have emphasized the need for close monitoring of pharma exports, particularly if the policies of the Joe Biden White House aimed at attracting high-value manufacturing back to the US start to affect Ireland.
In other sectors, the figures revealed that exports of meat and meat products remained relatively stable at almost €2.3bn in the first half of the year, similar to the previous year’s figures. Additionally, exports of dairy products and eggs experienced a rise to €1.9bn, while exports of scientific devices increased to €5bn.
These figures highlight the challenges faced by the Irish export industry, particularly in the medical and pharma sectors. As global dynamics continue to evolve and policies shift, it is crucial for Ireland to adapt and explore new opportunities to ensure the resilience and growth of its export market.