Irish Pharma Exports Jump In 2020 But Brexit Hits Trade With Britain

(Alliance News) - Ireland's goods exports were worth an unprecedented EUR160.8 billion in 2020, ...

Alliance News 22 February, 2021 | 8:10PM
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(Alliance News) - Ireland's goods exports were worth an unprecedented EUR160.8 billion in 2020, a new record underpinned by surging sales of medical and pharmaceutical products amid a pandemic.

Estimates published on Monday by the Central Statistics Office showed "medical and pharmaceutical products making up 39% of 2020 goods exports, a value increase of 25% on 2019."

Ireland's other main export sectors fell back, however, as demand contracted due to the novel coronavirus and related restrictions across key markets.

Exports of food and live animals were down 2%, while manufacturing, machinery and transport equipment all shrank by around 8%.

The divergence is likely down to what Ireland's Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) previously described as "a concentration of Irish exports in lockdown-resistant sectors."

Exports to the 26 other member states of the EU accounted for 40% the 2020 total, the CSO said, an increase of 13 per cent on 2019. Exports to Britain, Ireland's nearest neighbour, fell by 9% during 2020 and made up 8% of the year's overall amount.

After Britain left the EU in early 2020, an increasing proportion of Ireland's exports to the continent ended up being shipped directly rather than transiting Britain, with ferry companies in some cases doubling sailings from Ireland to France.

The US was Ireland's biggest export destination, the 31% of the total indicating the hefty footprint left by American businesses in Ireland, including so-called Big Pharma.

source: dpa

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