Ireland Economy Overview
Ireland is currently ranked as the 30th largest economy in the world, ranking #31 for total exports and #36 for total imports. Annual exports total $175 billion and imports $98.9 billion, resulting in a positive trade balance of $76.2 billion.
This guide provides an overview of Ireland’s economy, including the country’s primary imports and exports.
Ireland’s Top Exports
Here is a breakdown of the most important products exported by Ireland, both commodities and other notable exports.
- Malt extract – $2 billion
- Bovine meat – $1.9 billion
- Butter – $1.3 billion
- Cheese – $1.06 billion
- Refined petroleum – $877 million
If you’re interested in trading some of these commodities, you can jump to our list of recommended regulated brokers in at the end of the page.
Other Notable Exports
- Blood, antisera, vaccines, toxins, and cultures – $32.9 billion
- Packaged medicaments – $28.1 billion
- Nitrogen heterocyclic compounds – $17.6 billion
- Scented mixtures – $8.75 billion
- Medical instruments – $6.61 billion
Top export destinations for Ireland are the United States ($49.3 billion), the United Kingdom ($18.5 billion), Belgium ($17 billion), Germany ($12.7 billion), and Switzerland ($8.74 billion).
Ireland’s Top Imports
Here is a breakdown of the most important products imported by Ireland, both commodities and other notable imports.
- Refined petroleum – $3.26 billion
- Crude petroleum – $1.72 billion
- Petroleum gas – $828 million
- Corn – $336 million
- Wheat – $185 million
Other Notable Imports
- Planes, helicopters, and/or spacecraft – $11.1 billion
- Unpackaged medicaments – $6.56 billion
- Computers – $3.87 billion
- Packaged medicaments – $3.27 billion
- Blood, antisera, vaccines, toxins, and cultures – $3.16 billion
GDP of Ireland
Ireland’s latest reported GDP is $382 billion. That equates to a GDP per capita of $78,806. Between 2008 and 2018, the country’s GDP grew by 39.1% and the GDP per capita by 28.6%.
Details on Ireland’s Imports/Exports
Exports of malt extract account for 1.14% of Ireland’s total annual shipments. The country is ranked as the fourth-largest exporter of this product with a 12% share of a market worth $23.1 billion per year. This is despite a decline of -8.06% in Ireland’s malt extract exports from $2.18 billion in 2017 to $2 billion in 2018.
Bovine meat shipments represent 1.09% of Ireland’s global shipments. The country is ranked as the fourth-largest exporter in the world behind the United States ($3.62 billion), Australia ($2.56 billion), and the Netherlands ($2.48 billion).
The United Kingdom receives 47.5% of Ireland’s annual bovine meat shipments. Other European destinations import the remainder.
Exports of butter represent 0.74% of Ireland’s total annual exports.
The value of the global butter export market is worth $10.9 billion annually. Ireland is the third-largest exporting country after New Zealand ($2.59 billion) and the Netherlands ($1.69 billion).
The United Kingdom is the biggest importer of Ireland’s butter shipments followed by the Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium.
Interesting Facts About Ireland
- The country has recorded a high birth rate over the last 50 years and Ireland now has one of the youngest populations in the world.
- More than 80% of its inhabitants are Roman Catholic.
- Irishman, James Hoban, was the designer of the White House in the United States.
Interested in Trading Commodities?
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Sources and Further Reading
- All figures are based on OEC 2018 calculations and projections unless otherwise stated.
- Learn more about the state of world government debt from our country debt clock pages.
- See our global economic indicator guide to more than 45 other countries.
- Get our full guide to trading commodities.
Also see our guides on stock, CFD, and commodity brokers to find out which online trading platforms are available in .
All currency is reported in US dollars.