Ireland's Goods Imports From Britain Fall 53% In February

By Dayeeta Das
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Ireland's Goods Imports From Britain Fall 53% In February

Ireland's goods imports from Britain fell 53% year-on-year in February, data showed on Thursday, a slight easing from the 65% drop seen in January when new post-Brexit trade barriers first came into force.

The fall in the value of imports from Britain to €650 million ($777.9 million) meant goods coming into Ireland from its larger neighbour represented 10% of the value of total imports in February compared to 21% a year ago.

That figure does not include imports from the British region of Northern Ireland, which almost doubled to €283 million from €145 million in February 2020.

Brexit Withdrawal Agreement

Northern Ireland remains in the European Union's trading orbit under the Brexit withdrawal agreement, and no checks apply on goods crossing its open border with EU member Ireland.

The total value of all goods imported fell by 19% on an unadjusted basis compared to pre-pandemic levels a year ago, Ireland's Central Statistics Office (CSO) said.


Freight vehicle movements to Ireland from Britain increased from a low of 1,400 in the first week of January to 7,200 in the final week of February, government data showed last month.

That represented a year-on-year decline over the first two months of around 40%. A government spokeswoman said weekly movements have risen slightly to 8,000 in recent weeks, with a daily peak of 1,585 on 1 April.

"Government is continuing to closely monitor trade volumes between Ireland and Britain with some indications that freight movements are beginning to plateau at levels seen in recent weeks," the spokeswoman said.

Trade Volumes

Irish goods exports to Britain, excluding Northern Ireland, fell by 11% year-on-year to €850 million in February compared to an annual fall of 14% a month earlier, the CSO said.


That meant Britain accounted for just 7% of total goods exports, compared to the EU and United States' respective shares of 38% and 35%.

While London has delayed the introduction of a range of import checks on goods from the EU, some Irish exporters have been cutting their reliance on the British market since the 2016 Brexit referendum.

In 2015, Britain accounted for 12% of Irish goods exports.

News by Reuters, edited by ESM. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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