What Does Ireland Trade With Other Countries? These Are Its Top 5 Exports & Imports

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Source: WikiMedia Commons

Economy of Ireland – Overview

Ireland is currently ranked as the 27th largest export economy in the world with annual exports totaling $128 billion and imports of $75.2 billion, resulting in a positive trade balance of $52.9 billion.

The country has managed to increase the value of its exports by an annualized rate of 3.35% over the last five years.

Its GDP is $294 billion and that equates to a GDP per capita of $68,900.

Ireland’s Top 5 Commodity Exports

CommodityAmount (Annually)
Malt Extract $2.14 billion
Bovine Meat $1.81 billion
$654 million
Pig Meat $484 million
Sheep and Goat Meat $292 million

Ireland’s Other Notable Exports

  1. Packaged Medicaments – $19.7 billion
  2. Nitrogen Heterocyclic Compounds – $14.4 billion
  3. Human or Animal Blood – $10.7 billion
  4. Scented Mixtures – $8.04 billion
  5. Sulfonamides – $4.87 billion

Top export destinations for Ireland are the United States ($33.4 billion), The United Kingdom ($16.5 billion), Belgium ($16.2 billion), Germany ($8.67 billion) and Switzerland ($6.99 billion).

Ireland’s Top 5 Commodity Imports

CommodityAmount (Annually)
Refined Petroleum $2 billion
Crude Petroleum $1.1 billion
Petroleum Gas $801 million
Poultry Meat
$333 million
Corn $183 million

Ireland’s Other Notable Imports

  1. Planes, Helicopters, Spacecraft – $12.9 billion
  2. Packaged Medicaments – $2.81 billion
  3. Cars – $2.76 billion
  4. Computers – $2.53 billion
  5. Human or Animal Blood – $2.04 billion

More Information on Ireland’s Imports/Exports

Malt Extract

Exports of malt extract account for 1.7% of Ireland’s total annual shipments and the country is ranked as the second largest exporter of this product with a 12% share of a market worth $18.3 billion per year.

China is a key destination for its malt extract exports, taking 26% of their total shipments, followed by the Netherlands (8.4%) and the United Kingdom (8.4%).

Bovine Meat

Bovine meat shipments represent 1.4% of Ireland’s global shipments and the country is ranked as the fourth largest exporter in the world with a 9% market share, behind the Netherlands (12%), the United States (12%) and Australia (11%).

The United Kingdom receives 51% of Ireland’s annual shipments and other European destinations import the remainder.


Exports of butter represent 0.5% of Ireland’s total annual exports.

The value of the global butter export market is worth $6.89 billion annually and Ireland is the third largest exporting country with a 9.5% market share.

The United Kingdom (32%) is the biggest importer of Ireland’s butter shipments followed by the Netherlands (16%), Germany (11%) and Belgium (10%).

Pig Meat

Annual exports of pig meat are valued at $26.7 billion and Ireland has a 1.8% share of that global market.

The United Kingdom is once again a key export destination, taking 42% of Ireland’s total annual exports of pig meat.

Sheep and Goat Meat

Shipments of sheep and goat meat account for 0.3% of Ireland’s total exports and the country is the fourth largest exporter in the world.

Australia (34%) and New Zealand (32%) dominate the sheep and goat meat export market although goat farming is expected to grow in Ireland with consumer interest rising in this low-fat and high-protein meat.

A Few 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.

All figures based on OEC/IMF 2016 calculations and projections unless otherwise stated.

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