£
2019
All data 2019*

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

Total Cross-Border Trade
8.078bn
£7.127bn
  • €5.102 bn
    £4.501 bn
    North - South
  • €2.976 bn
    £2.624 bn
    South - North

Sources: BESES Statistics (NISRA 2018)* 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 2018 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
    4207m
    £3711m

Total
Cross-Border Trade in Manufactured Goods

2019

4,207m £3,711m

£
  • Food drink icon

    Food, drink & tobacco

    Total: 
    1623.78m
    £1431.65m
    824.58m
    £727m
    North to South
    799.2m
    £704.65m
    South to North
  • Manu

    Manufacturing not elsewhere

    Total: 
    404.58m
    £356.71m
    83.93m
    £74m
    North to South
    320.65m
    £282.71m
    South to North
  • Chem

    Chemicals and chemical products

    Total: 
    515.52m
    £454.53m
    93.01m
    £82m
    North to South
    422.51m
    £372.53m
    South to North
  • Metals

    Basic metals & products

    Total: 
    368.26m
    £324.68m
    265.40m
    £234m
    North to South
    102.85m
    £90.68m
    South to North
  • Mechanical

    Mechanical engineering

    Total: 
    171.53m
    £151.23m
    86.20m
    £76m
    North to South
    85.33m
    £75.23m
    South to North
  • Rubber

    Rubber & plastic products

    Total: 
    186.89m
    £164.77m
    120.23m
    £106m
    North to South
    66.66m
    £58.77m
    South to North
  • Non metal

    Non metallic mineral products

    Total: 
    205.37m
    £181.07m
    74.86m
    £66m
    North to South
    130.51m
    £115.07
    South to North
  • Textiles icon

    Textiles, clothing & leather

    Total: 
    146.73m
    £129.37m
    37.43m
    £33m
    North to South
    109.30m
    £96.37m
    South to North
  • Wood icon

    Wood & wood products

    Total: 
    135.13m
    £119.14m
    80.53m
    £71m
    North to South
    54.6m
    £48.14m
    South to North
  • Paper icon

    Pulp paper & publishing

    Total: 
    155.14m
    £136.78m
    131.57m
    £116m
    North to South
    23.57m
    £20.78m
    South to North
  • Transport icon

    Transport equipment

    Total: 
    174.25m
    £153.63m
    132.7m
    £117m
    North to South
    41.55m
    £36.63m
    South to North
  • Electrical

    Electrical & optical equipment

    Total: 
    94.17m
    £83.03m
    43.10m
    £38m
    North to South
    51.07m
    £45.03m
    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 Q2 of 2021 non-essential retail in Northern Ireland reopened on 30th April, a number of weeks ahead of that in Ireland on 17th May.

Due to the earlier opening of non-essential retain in NI, Enniskillen had the highest incidence of South to North cross-border shopping in Q2 2021 at 53%, rising from 14% in Q1 2021. Overall shoppers from the South accounted for almost a third of cars in Northern car parks this quarter. While North to South shopping only rose by 2% overall to a total of 7% of cars in Southern car parks.

Hospitality venues remained closed in Ireland until 7th June with indoor hospitality remaining closed for this quarter, while in Northern Ireland, outdoor hospitality was permitted from 30th April 2021and indoor hospitality from 24th May 2021.

Refer to the infographic below for more details.