Year over year, the overall cost of products imported into Ireland accelerated by 18.8% from $122.8 billion in 2021.
Based on the average exchange rate for 2022, Ireland uses the euro which depreciated by -12.1% against the US dollar since 2018 and fell by -12.3% from 2021 to 2022. The weaker European Union currency made Ireland’s imports paid for in stronger US dollars relatively more expensive when converted starting from the weaker euro.
Domestically, Ireland’s inflation rate for average consumer prices was 8.4%.
Irish imports represent 0.7% of the world’s imports which totaled an estimated $22.432 trillion in 2021.
Ranking among the most valuable imported products bought by Ireland in 2022 were aircraft and spacecraft, heterocyclics and nucleic acids, electronic integrated circuits and microassemblies, blood fractions including antisera, and processed petroleum oils. Combined, that quintet of major imports represents almost a third (32.2%) of Ireland’s total spending on imports.
Best Suppliers for Irish Imports
The latest available country-specific data shows that 70.8% of products imported into Ireland were supplied by exporters in: United Kingdom (35.6% of France’s global total), United States of America (7.5%), France (5.2%), mainland China (5.1%), Germany (4%), Netherlands (2.8%), Switzerland (2.7%), Israel (2.2%), Belgium (also 2.2%), Japan (1.8%), Spain (1.7%) and Italy (1.3%).
From a continental perspective, 61.1% of Ireland’s total imports by value in 2022 were purchased from fellow European countries. Trade partners in Asia supplied 21.3% of Ireland’s import purchases while 15.7% worth originated from North America.
Much smaller percentages of Irish imports came from Latin America (1%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, Africa (0.7%), Oceania (0.1%) led by Australia and New Zealand.
Given Ireland’s population of 5.1 million people, the country’s total $145.9 billion in 2022 imports translates to roughly $28,700 in yearly product demand from every person in the European island country. That per-capita amount outpaces the average $23,500 for 2021.
Ireland’s Top 10 Imports
The following product groups represent the highest dollar value in Ireland’s import purchases during 2022. Also shown is the percentage share each product category represents in terms of overall imports into Ireland.
- Organic chemicals: US$18.9 billion (13% of total imports)
- Machinery including computers: $16.6 billion (11.4%)
- Aircraft, spacecraft: $15.5 billion (10.6%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: $14.3 billion (9.8%)
- Mineral fuels including oil: $13.6 billion (9.4%)
- Pharmaceuticals: $11.8 billion (8.1%)
- Vehicles: $5.3 billion (3.6%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $4.8 billion (3.3%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: $4.3 billion (3%)
- Other chemical goods: $2.1 billion (1.5%)
Ireland’s top 10 imports are almost three-quarters (73.5%) of the overall value of its product purchases from other countries.
Expanding at the fastest pace were imports of mineral fuels including oil (up 86.6%), miscellaneous chemical goods (up 53.4%), organic chemicals (up 51.4%), then machinery including computers (up 23.3%).
The lone decliner among Ireland’s costliest import categories was aircraft and spacecraft, a highly capital-intensive category that fell by -10.9% from 2021.
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.
Ireland’s Imports of Organic Chemicals
In 2022, Irish importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of organic chemicals.
- Heterocyclics, nucleic acids: US$14.4 billion (up 76.6% from 2021)
- Miscellaneous heterocyclics: $1.4 billion (up 14.4%)
- Cyclic alcohols: $648.9 million (up 14,605%)
- Carboxyamid/amide-function compounds: $587.6 million (up 6.9%)
- Amino-compounds (oxygen): $210.6 million (up 0.9%)
- Heterocyclics, oxygen: $203.9 million (down -59.4%)
- Sulphonamides: $177 million (down -77.9%)
- Other organo-inorganic compounds: $154.4 million (up 62.7%)
- Acyclic alcohols: $135.8 million (up 61.3%)
- Carboxylic acids: $135 million (up 32.9%)
Among these import subcategories, Irish purchases of cyclic alcohols accelerated at the fastest pace from 2021 to 2022 posting a 14,605% increase.
These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imports for organic chemicals-related products among Irish businesses and consumers.
Ireland’s Imports of Machinery Products
In 2022, Irish importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of machinery.
- Computers, optical readers: US$3.9 billion (up 2% from 2021)
- Machinery for making semi-conductors: $3.6 billion (up 590.4%)
- Computer parts, accessories: $1.9 billion (up 12.4%)
- Turbo-jets: $1.4 billion (down -30.4%)
- Centrifuges, filters and purifiers: $770.9 million (up 26.6%)
- Taps, valves, similar appliances: $373.6 million (up 15.6%)
- Heavy machinery (bulldozers, excavators, road rollers): $323.6 million (up 17.5%)
- Machinery parts: $309.7 million (up 4%)
- Air or vacuum pumps: $299.3 million (up 34.7%)
- Printing machinery: $289.4 million (up 13.5%)
Among these import subcategories, Irish purchases of machinery for making semi-conductors (up 590.4%), air or vacuum pumps (up 34.7%) then centrifuges, filters and purifiers (up 26.6%) grew at the fastest pace from 2021 to 2022.
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.
Ireland’s Imports of Aerospace Products
In 2022, Irish importers spent the most on the following subcategories of aerospace products.
- Aircraft, spacecraft: US$15.1 billion (down -11.3% from 2021)
- Parts of aircraft and spacecraft: $357.2 million (2021 data unavailable)
- Aircraft launch gear, ground fly trainer: $17.9 million (up 161.4%)
- Unmanned aircraft: $3.6 million (2021 data unavailable)
- Parachutes, accessories: $1 million (up 1,064%)
- Balloons, dirigibles, gliders, handgliders: $222,000 (up 5.2%)
Among these import subcategories, Irish purchases of parachutes (plus related accessories) accelerated at the greatest pace, gaining 1,064% from 2021.
These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported aerospace products among Irish businesses and consumers.
Ireland’s Imports of Electronics
In 2022, Irish importers spent the most on the following subcategories of electrical items including consumer electronics.
- Integrated circuits/microassemblies: US$6.5 billion (up 11.8% from 2021)
- Phone devices including smartphones: $2.2 billion (up 5.3%)
- Insulated wire/cable: $664.4 million (up 3.9%)
- Unrecorded sound media: $572.8 million (down -28.1%)
- Solar power diodes/semi-conductors: $515 million (up 74.2%)
- Lower-voltage switches, fuses: $394.6 million (up 3.6%)
- Electrical converters/power units: $384.3 million (up 20.5%)
- TV receivers/monitors/projectors: $347.3 million (down -7.5%)
- Electric water heaters, hair dryers: $315.2 million (down -0.7%)
- Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels: $257.4 million (up 10.5%)
Among these import subcategories, Irish purchases of solar power diodes and semi-conductors (up 74.2%), electrical converters and power units (up 20.5%) then integrated circuits or microassemblies (up 11.8%) grew at the fastest pace from 2021 to 2022.
These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported electronics 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
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Country Profiles. Accessed on March 28, 2023
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on March 28, 2023
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on March 28, 2023