NI ex­ports hit £2.3bn as de­cline of ster­ling makes goods cheaper

Belfast Telegraph - - BUSINESS - BY MAR­GARET CAN­NING

EX­PORTS of North­ern Ire­land prod­ucts, from food to phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, were up 12% in the three months to June com­pared to the same pe­riod in 2016, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est data.

There were £2.3bn in ex­port sales in the sec­ond quar­ter, up from £1.9bn in 2016 and from £2.2bn the quar­ter be­fore.

HMRC’s re­gional trade sta­tis­tics also show that the Repub­lic was the big­gest mar­ket, with ex­ports of £2.5bn over the year to June 2017.

And that mar­ket also pro­vided the big­gest in­crease in ex­port vol­ume at 14% over the year to June 2017, as the fall in value of ster­ling fol­low­ing the Euro­pean Union ref­er­en­dum made North­ern Ire­land’s goods cheaper to buy.

The Repub­lic was also North­ern Ire­land’s main source of im­ports, which were worth £2bn over the year.

Im­ports from the Repub­lic were up 1.4%, but im­ports from the Nether­lands brought the big­gest in­crease, at 37%.

Canada was North­ern Ire­land’s sec­ond-largest ex­port part­ner in growth terms, with ex­ports up 13% to reach £0.4bn. The US also showed strong growth as a trad­ing part­ner at 10.4%, with ex­ports worth £1.8bn over the year — mak­ing it our sec­ond-big­gest mar­ket.

And of EU mem­ber states, ex­ports to France from North­ern Ire­land were up 8% to reach £0.4bn, while Ger­man ex­ports were of the same value but had grown by 4.8%.

Ma­chin­ery and trans­port equip­ment was the most valu­able com­mod­ity for ex­port in NI, with sales in that cat­e­gory of £2.7bn over the year to June, a rise of 8.1% on ex­ports in the year be­fore.

The cat­e­gory of chem­i­cals and re­lated prod­ucts was the next most valu­able, with a value of £1.7bn — up 13.2%. The cat­e­gory of ‘mis­cel­la­neous man­u­fac­tured ma­te­ri­als’ saw the sec­ond-strong­est growth, up 16.6% to a value of £1.3bn.

But the ex­port of food and live an­i­mals brought sales of £1.2bn, which was up 18.7% and the strong­est cat­e­gory of growth.

All four UK na­tions saw an in­crease in their vol­ume of ex­ports, with Eng­land’s main ex­port part­ner be­ing the US.

But the EU mar­ket of France brought the largest value in­crease in ex­ports to Eng­land and Wales over the year, while China brought the big­gest value in­crease in ex­ports to Scot­land.

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