£
2019
All data 2019*

Statistics on
Cross-border goods & services trade
on the island of Ireland

Total Cross-Border Trade
8.390bn
£7.397bn
  • €5.105 bn
    £4.501 bn
    North - South
  • €3.285 bn
    £2.896 bn
    South - North

Sources: BESES Statistics (NISRA 2019)* for NI firms and CSO for Irish firms. *Data on trade between Northern Ireland and Ireland is gathered through NISRA’s BESES Survey which currently has a lag of approximately 2 years, hence the 2019 figures are the most recently available for cross-border trade totals.

Total
Cross-Border Trade in Manufactured Goods

1995 - 2019

£

The chart below shows the total Cross-Border trade in goods (millions) from 1995 to 2019

  • 0 1250 2500 3750 5000
  • 1995
    1645m
    £1346m
  • 1996
    1759m
    £1425m
  • 1997
    2217m
    £1537m
  • 1998
    2489m
    £1686m
  • 1999
    2645m
    £1741m
  • 2000
    3022m
    £1840m
  • 2001
    2979m
    £1852m
  • 2002
    2908m
    £1828m
  • 2003
    2709m
    £1874m
  • 2004
    2950m
    £2001m
  • 2005
    3057m
    £2090m
  • 2006
    3489m
    £2379m
  • 2007
    3799m
    £2599m
  • 2008
    3355m
    £2665m
  • 2009
    2672m
    £2379m
  • 2010
    2465m
    £2114m
  • 2011
    2660m
    £2309m
  • 2012
    2869m
    £2327m
  • 2013
    2868m
    £2436m
  • 2014
    3072m
    £2448m
  • 2015
    3403m
    £2448m
  • 2016
    3286m
    £2694m
  • 2017
    3746m
    £3283m
  • 2018
    3902m
    £3443m
  • 2019
    4518m
    £3983m

Total
Cross-Border Trade in Manufactured Goods

2019

4,518m £3,983m

£
  • Food drink icon

    Food, drink & tobacco

    Total: 
    1835.05m
    £1617.93m
    824.58m
    £727m
    North to South
    1010.47m
    £890.93m
    South to North
  • Manu

    Manufacturing not elsewhere

    Total: 
    407.33m
    £359.14m
    83.93m
    £74m
    North to South
    323.4m
    £285.14m
    South to North
  • Chem

    Chemicals and chemical products

    Total: 
    518.62m
    £457.26m
    93.01m
    £82m
    North to South
    425.61m
    £375.26m
    South to North
  • Metals

    Basic metals & products

    Total: 
    393.31m
    £346.77m
    265.40m
    £234m
    North to South
    127.9m
    £112.77m
    South to North
  • Mechanical

    Mechanical engineering

    Total: 
    181.7m
    £160.2m
    86.20m
    £76m
    North to South
    95.5m
    £84.2m
    South to North
  • Rubber

    Rubber & plastic products

    Total: 
    201.72m
    £177.85m
    120.23m
    £106m
    North to South
    81.49m
    £71.85m
    South to North
  • Non metal

    Non metallic mineral products

    Total: 
    225.44m
    £198.77m
    74.86m
    £66m
    North to South
    150.58m
    £132.77
    South to North
  • Textiles icon

    Textiles, clothing & leather

    Total: 
    148.13m
    £130.60m
    37.43m
    £33m
    North to South
    110.70m
    £97.60m
    South to North
  • Wood icon

    Wood & wood products

    Total: 
    135.15m
    £119.16m
    80.53m
    £71m
    North to South
    54.62m
    £48.16m
    South to North
  • Paper icon

    Pulp paper & publishing

    Total: 
    160.03m
    £141.09m
    131.57m
    £116m
    North to South
    28.46m
    £25.09m
    South to North
  • Transport icon

    Transport equipment

    Total: 
    177.33m
    £156.35m
    132.7m
    £117m
    North to South
    44.63m
    £39.35m
    South to North
  • Electrical

    Electrical & optical equipment

    Total: 
    107.23m
    £94.54m
    43.10m
    £38m
    North to South
    64.13m
    £56.54m
    South to North

The difference between the total of the sectoral figures and the total cross-border trade in goods figure is due to the omission of some sectoral figures not publically available.

Total
Cross-Border Trade in Services *

* including wholesale and retail services
2019

3.87bn £3.41bn

£

The chart below shows the total Cross-Border Services trade (billions) from 2011 to 2019


  • 0 1 2 3 4
  • 2011
    3.04bn
    £2.26bn
  • 2012
    3.16bn
    £2.33bn
  • 2013
    3.51bn
    £2.60bn
  • 2014
    3.32bn
    £2.45bn
  • 2015
    3.27bn
    £2.38bn
  • 2016
    2.98bn
    £2.47bn
  • 2017
    3.19bn
    £2.82bn
  • 2018
    3.48bn
    £3.07bn
  • 2019
    3.87bn
    £3.41bn

Exporter Benefits by Firm Type

InterTradeIreland undertook research in 2019 which showed that cross-border traders have higher productivity, turnover and employment figures.

Sources: BESES Statistics (NISRA 2018) for NI firms and CSO CIP for Irish firms.

  • Productivity
    'Productivity' bar shows the higher productivity levels experienced by cross-border traders by goods and services sectors, over firms that do not export
  • Turnover
    'Turnover' bar shows the higher turnover levels experienced by cross-border traders by goods and services sectors, over firms that do not export
  • Employment
    'Employment' bar shows the higher employment levels experienced by cross-border traders by goods and services sectors, over firms that do not export
  • 0% 50% 100% 150% 200%
  • NI Goods - ROI Exports Only
    9
    93
    46
  • NI Services - ROI Exports Only
    7
    70
    33
  • Irish-owned Goods - UK Exports Only
    45
    142
    118

Cross-border shopping activity

Our Retail Monitor records the number of cars parked in central shopping car parks in the border areas of the island both North and South as an indicator of cross-border shopping activity.

For Q3 of 2021 restrictions in NI had eased allowing for close contact services, but level 5 restrictions remained in Ireland.

Enniskillen continues to have the highest incidence of South to North cross-border shopping this year, with Q2 2021 peaking at 53%, then dropping to 37% for Q3. Overall shoppers from the South accounted for a fifth of cars in Northern car parks this quarter. While North to South shopping continues to be a lot lower than shoppers travelling from the South to the North with this quarter showing a total overall of 8% Northern cars in Southern car parks.

Refer to the infographic below for more details.