All-island trade statistics
Annual Trade Commentary 2007
Cross-border trade in both directions continued to increase in 2007, which reflects the solid trend established since the low point of 2003. In 2007 total cross-border trade was around 5.5 per cent larger than that in 2006, which was a smaller rise than in 2005-06 (13.6 per cent). The divergence in trade volumes, evident in 2006, has accelerated in 2007 with trade from South to North rising more rapidly (7.6 per cent) than that from North to South (3.1 per cent).
Cross-border trade from North to South is now at a higher level than at any time since the mid-1990s; whereas trade from South to North has reached a level just below its previous high in 2001
Trade between Ireland and Northern Ireland continued to increase in 2007 by an overall figure of 5.6%. This increase was largely due to Ireland's exports to Northern Ireland rising by 10% whereas Northern Ireland's exports to Ireland rose only slightly by 0.38%
When broken down into the twelve sectors Northern Ireland had an export boom in both the Transport Equipment and the Electrical and Optical Equipment sectors. Ireland had its most significant sectoral increase in Wood and Wood Products. Three sectors suffered an overall decline in trade value: Textiles and Clothing, Rubber and Plastics and Paper and Publishing.
Trade from South to North remained larger than exports from Norhtern Ireland to Ireland in 2007. This is expected because of the size of Ireland's economy when compared to Northern Ireland's. The convergence between the two economies in recent years was replaced by a divergence in trade values during the year.
Sectoral Trades during 2007 are shown below:
Food and Drink
Food and Drink is the single biggest component of cross border trade. In 2007 it accounted for 36% of total trade. North to South trade enjoyed a rise of 4.2%. However there was a more significant increase of South to North trade with a rise of 9.8% from 2006.
Textiles, Clothing and Leather
This sector was one of only three sectors to see an overall decrease in value of trade. North to South trade in this sector continued its downward trend from 2006 with another decrease of 7.9%. The converging pattern continued with South to North trade marginally rising by 1.7%. It is worth noting that the monetary value of trade from North to South is still double that of South to North.
Wood and Wood Products
2007 saw a significant change in the pattern of trade. Trade in a North to South direction had been increaseing since 2003 however this trend was reversed with a fall of 2.6%. The major change took place in South to North trade which saw an increase of 29.8%. This means that Ireland now has a trade surplus in this sector for the first time since Q3 2003. In just over two years exporters from Ireland have managed to close a deficit of €6.7 million.
Pulp ,Paper and Publishing
Trade in this sector declined considerably for the second successive year. Overall trade was down 25% as trade in a North to South direction fell by 31.2% and South to North fell by 18.1%. This means that the value of trade from South to North is significantly closer to the value of trade from North to South.
Chemicals and Chemical Products
Overall trade in this sector had a noticeable jump of 9.9%. This was mainly due to a big increase in North to South trade (13%) coupled with an 8.6% rise in South to North trade. As in previous years exports from Ireland to Northern Ireland were 2.5 times the value of imports.
Rubber and Plastics
There was an overall decrease in this sector of 6.3%. Trade in both directions contributed to this as each of them suffered a 6.3% decrease in value of exports to each other.
Non-Metallic Mineral Products
In recent years both countries showed an upward trend in trade of non-metallic mineral products. However in 2007 there was a sudden dip in trade from North to South with a decrease of 12.4%. This was offset by an equal rise of trade value fom South to North . Hence overall trade remained largely unchanged , with the South maintaining its persistent growth and Northern Ireland decreasing for the first time in 4 years.
Basic Metals and Products
This sector enjoyed the largest year on year rise of all the sectors as the overall value of trade rose by 18.1%. This was thanks mainly to Northern Ireland exports which had a large increase in exports value of 22.2%. Ireland contributed to with another excellent increase of 12.4%. Northern Ireland now enjoys an export surplus, overturning the deficit it had at the atart of 2006.
Growth cotinued in this sector, albeit at a slower pace than the previous year. Trade increased overall by a healthy 9.7%. Trade from South to North rose by 11.5% whileNorthern Ireland's exports to Ireland went up by 7.3%.
Electrical and Optical Equipment
Trade in this area increased by a substantial figure of 12.2% during 2007. South to North trade had a steady rise of 2.7% but the real gains were made in the other direction with a superb increase of 25%. The pattern of trade shows a catch up by Northern Ireland since 2002 as the difference between trade values has decreased from €7.6m in 2006 to just €2.7m in 2007.
Cross-border trade improved by 9.8% in 2006. North to South trade had been consistently rising since 2002 and in 2007 there was a dramatic rise of 27%. After the huge dip suffered in South to North trade between 2002 and 2005, the steady signs of recovery since then continued in this sector in 2007 with a modest increase of 1.6%.
Manufacturing, Not Elsewhere
A very interesting year for this sector with overall trade value increased as a whole by 5.4%. Trade in a North to South direction suffered a huge decrease of 25% but in the other direction there was a phenomenal rise of 59.7%. In 2006 Irelands exports to Northern Ireland were only half the value of its imports. With the substantial changes in 2007, Ireland now has a trade surplus in this sector
[Note: This sector includes the manufacturing of sports goods, games and toys, furniture for kitchens and offices, jewellery and musical instruments. Perhaps more importantly this also includes refined petroleum, although the exact cause of the volatility is unknown.