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Merchandise trade remains steady in 2007
Mar '08
Exports of merchandise trade for the year 2007 were €88,581m, up 2% on 2006. This rise was due to Organic chemicals.

Excluding these categories exports actually fell by 2%. Imports for 2007 were €62,179m, up 2% on 2006. This increase was due to Transport equipment.

If we exclude this, imports were flat. In December 2007 the value of exports was €6,116m, down €1,048m (-15%) on December 2006, while imports were €5,017m, down €351m (-7%). On a seasonally adjusted basis the value of exports in December 2007 was €6,310m, 14% down on November 2007, while imports were €4,970m, down 11%.

Preliminary estimates for January 2008 (see Table 5) show exports of €6,958m and imports of €5,328m. The corresponding seasonally adjusted values for January 2008 (see Table 2) are €7,198m for exports and €5,175m for imports.

A comparison of the preliminary January 2008 values with January 2007 is given in Table 5 at broad commodity level by principal country.

Comparing the 2007 figures with those of 2006 shows that:
• Exports of Organic chemicals increased from €17,059m to €19,427m (+14%), General industrial machinery from €1,216m to €1,449m (+19%).

• Exports of goods to China and Hong Kong increased from €1,498m to €1,950m (+30%), to the Philippines from €424m to €709m (+67%) and to Switzerland from €2,516m to €3,248m (+29%). Goods to the United States decreased from €16,182m to €15,779m (-2%) (in $ terms this represented a 9.5% increase) and to Italy from €3,613m to €3,125m (-14%).

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