North sends almost double the trade to Republic it receives in return

A new report has revealed that north sends almost double the amount of trade to the Republic that it receives in return.

A NEW report has revealed that north sends almost double the amount of trade to the Republic that it receives in return.

A first-of-its kind Cross-Border Supply Chain survey, published by NISRA and the Department for the Economy (DfE) has highlighted an alarming disparity in trade volumes.

According to the figures businesses in the north made 758,000 cross-border export deliveries to the Republic in 2016, worth an estimated £3.4 billion. By contrast there were approximately 410,000 import deliveries, worth roughly £2bn.

Of the exports from the north almost three quarters were made by small businesses with less than 50 employees and were of low value. The figures show that just over 20 per cent of exports were worth more than £4,500 per trip.

A total of 39 per cent of Northern Ireland's trade with the Republic was comprised of “intermediate” products - goods that are used as inputs into the production of other goods, indicating strong supply chain activity on the island.

The movements, however, only refer to trade by Northern Ireland businesses registered with HMRC for VAT purposes and therefore exclude some 58,500 small traders, therefore the exact amount of trade between the two jurisdictions is likely to be higher.

In a statement the Department for Economy said:

"The new survey and analysis paint a rich picture of the web of cross-border connections and trade between Northern Ireland businesses and businesses and consumers in Ireland. This is, however, only a partial picture of the movement of goods across the border, as Northern Ireland relies heavily on moving and receiving goods through ports in Ireland for its trade with Great Britain. Previous estimates have indicated that Northern Ireland sales of goods to Great Britain are worth nearly four times that of sales of goods to Ireland of which the current exercise does not take account. North-south supply chains cannot be considered in isolation from trade with Great Britain and this remains an area for further research.

"However, the current report provides greater detail than previously available on the incidence and purpose of cross border movement of goods between Northern Ireland and Ireland to inform EU Exit."

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