Ireland’s Top 10 Imports

Ireland's top 10 imports

Irish football

Ireland imported US$105.9 billion worth of goods from around the globe in 2018, up by 28.2% since 2014 and up by 19.2% from 2017 to 2018.

Irish imports represent 0.6% of total global imports which totaled an estimated $17.788 trillion one year prior in 2017.

From a continental perspective, two-thirds of Ireland’s total imports by value in 2018 were purchased from fellow European countries. North American trade partners supplied 18.1% of import Ireland’s import purchases while 9.4% worth originated from Asia. Much smaller percentages of Irish imports came from Latin America (0.9%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, Africa (0.5%) then Oceania (0.1%) led by Australia and New Zealand.

Given Ireland’s population of 5.1 million people, the country’s total $105.9 billion in 2018 imports translates to roughly $21,000 in yearly product demand from every person in the European island country.

Ireland’s Top 10 Imports

Top 10

The following product groups represent the highest dollar value in Ireland’s import purchases during 2018. Also shown is the percentage share each product category represents in terms of overall imports into Ireland.

  1. Aircraft, spacecraft: US$24.2 billion (22.9% of total imports)
  2. Pharmaceuticals: $13.6 billion (12.8%)
  3. Machinery including computers: $10.4 billion (9.9%)
  4. Mineral fuels including oil: $7 billion (6.6%)
  5. Electrical machinery, equipment: $5.6 billion (5.3%)
  6. Vehicles: $4.5 billion (4.2%)
  7. Organic chemicals: $4.3 billion (4.1%)
  8. Plastics, plastic articles: $3.1 billion (2.9%)
  9. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $3 billion (2.8%)
  10. Food industry waste, animal fodder: $1.2 billion (1.2%)

Ireland’s top 10 imports accounted for almost three-fifths (72.6%) of the overall value of its product purchases from other countries.

Imported pharmaceuticals posted the greatest increase in value among the top 10 import categories, up 44.3% from 2017 to 2018.

In second place for improving import sales were food industry waste and animal fodder via a 41.1% uptick. Mineral fuels-related goods delivered the third-fastest gain up 32.1%.

Irish purchases of organic chemicals was the laggard among the top 10 Irish imports, posting a -7.6% dip year over year.

Please note that the results listed above are at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level. Information presented under other virtual folder tabs is at the more granular 4-digit level.

Aerospace

In 2018, Irish importers spent the most on the following subcategories of aerospace products.

  1. Aircraft, spacecraft: US$23.9 billion (up 29.7% from 2017)
  2. Aircraft parts: $293.8 million (down -23%)
  3. Aircraft launch gear, ground fly trainer: $764,000 (up 85.9%)
  4. Parachutes, accessories: $111,000 (up 226.5%)
  5. Balloons, dirigibles, gliders, handgliders: $94,000 (up 113.6%)

Among these import subcategories, Irish purchases of parachutes and related accessories (up 226.5%), balloons, dirigibles, gliders or handgliders (up 113.6%) and aircraft launch gear or ground fly trainers (up 85.9%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported aerospace among Irish businesses and consumers.

Pharma

In 2018, Irish importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of pharmaceuticals.

  1. Medication mixes not in dosage: US$6.4 billion (up 294.6% from 2017)
  2. Blood fractions (including antisera): $4 billion (down -14.2%)
  3. Medication mixes in dosage: $3 billion (up 0.2%)
  4. Sutures, special pharmaceutical goods: $76 million (up 8.3%)
  5. Packaged dressings: $55 million (up 31.8%)
  6. Dried organs, heparin: $12.5 million (down -7.4%)

Among these import subcategories, Irish purchases of medication mixes not in dosage (up 294.6%), packaged dressings (up 31.8%) and sutures or special pharmaceutical goods (up 8.3%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported pharmaceuticals among Irish businesses and consumers.

Machinery

In 2018, Irish importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of machinery.

  1. Computers, optical readers: US$3.8 billion (up 42.1% from 2017)
  2. Computer parts, accessories: $1.3 billion (up 46.8%)
  3. Machinery for making semi-conductors: $824.3 million (up 156.1%)
  4. Turbo-jets: $457.8 million (down -36.8%)
  5. Machinery parts: $307.1 million (up 1.4%)
  6. Centrifuges, filters and purifiers: $290.3 million (up 25.4%)
  7. Taps, valves, similar appliances: $237.6 million (up 8.4%)
  8. Air or vacuum pumps: $231.3 million (up 38%)
  9. Miscellaneous machinery: $217.4 million (up 17.3%)
  10. Heavy machinery (bulldozers, excavators, road rollers): $198.8 million (up 28.8%)

Among these import subcategories, Irish purchases of machinery for making semi-conductors (up 156.1%), computer parts or accessories (up 46.8%) and computers including optical readers (up 42.1%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported machinery among Irish businesses and consumers.

Fuel

In 2018, Irish importers spent the most on the following subcategories of mineral fuels-related products.

  1. Processed petroleum oils: US$3.3 billion (up 27.2% from 2017)
  2. Crude oil: $1.6 billion (up 16.8%)
  3. Petroleum gases: $1.3 billion (up 45%)
  4. Electrical energy: $360.9 million (up 437.6%)
  5. Coal, solid fuels made from coal: $202.4 million (up 10%)
  6. Petroleum oil residues: $97.8 million (up 22%)
  7. Natural bitumen, asphalt, shale: $19.3 million (up 31.4%)
  8. Petroleum jelly, mineral waxes: $14.3 million (up 12%)
  9. Asphalt/petroleum bitumen mixes: $5.4 million (up 156.5%)
  10. Peat: $3.4 million (up 25.8%)

Among these import subcategories, Irish purchases of electrical energy (up 437.6%), asphalt or petroleum bitumen mixes (up 156.5%) and petroleum gases (up 45%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imports for mineral fuels-related products among Irish businesses and consumers.



 

See also Ireland’s Top Trading Partners, Ireland’s Top 10 Exports and Ireland’s Top 10 Major Export Companies

Research Sources:
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on February 22, 2019

The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on February 22, 2019

Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on February 22, 2019