Republic's CSO records 65 per cent surge in north-south trade during 2021

The values of goods moving from the north into the Republic rose by 65 per cent (£1.3bn) in 2021. Picture by Brian Lawless/PA Wire.

THE value of goods moving between Northern Ireland and the Republic hit almost €4 billion in 2021, according to official data from the Irish Central Statistics Office (CSO).

Provisional data from the statistics body recorded €3.96bn (£3.3bn) of imports from the north last year, an increase of €1.6bn (£1.3bn) or 65 per cent on 2020.

While it's thought that the Northern Ireland Protocol has prompted a surge in cross-border trade, it's also possible that GB goods destined for the Republic are being warehoused in the north first before crossing the border.

The CSO said the value of goods moving directly from Britain to the Republic fell by €2.4bn (£2bn) over the same period.

The data comes as ports in Northern Ireland have reported substantial increases in freight traffic in 2021, again suggesting that Irish Sea supply lines have shifted north.

After posting record volumes of freight traffic in 2021, Belfast Harbour bosses pointed to the current grace periods on post-Brexit checks moving between Britain and north as a significant factor in the shift.

The CSO also said goods moving from the Republic into the north increased by €1.3bn (£1.1bn) to €3.7bn (£3.1bn) during 2021, a rise of 54 per cent on 2020.

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