£
2020
All data 2020*

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

Total Cross-Border Trade
7.733bn
£6.850bn
  • €4.625 bn
    £4.097 bn
    North - South
  • €3.108 bn
    £2.753 bn
    South - North

Sources: BESES Statistics (NISRA 2020)* 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 2020 figures are the most recently available for cross-border trade totals.

Total
Cross-Border Trade in Manufactured Goods

1995 - 2020

£

The chart below shows the total Cross-Border trade in goods (millions) from 1995 to 2020

  • 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
  • 2020
    4227m
    £3744m

Total
Cross-Border Trade in Manufactured Goods

2020

4,227m £3,744m

Total
Cross-Border Trade in Services *

* including wholesale and retail services
2020

3.50bn £3.10bn

£

The chart below shows the total Cross-Border Services trade (billions) from 2011 to 2020


  • 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
  • 2020
    3.50bn
    £3.10bn

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.

The latest data collected by InterTradeIreland on cross-border shopping levels (Q1 2022) reveals that 7% of cars in Irish retail car parks are from NI and 29% of cars in NI retail parks are from Ireland.

Enniskillen continues to have the highest incidence of South to North cross-border shopping at the beginning of 2022, with 53% of cars in retail parks being from Ireland. Overall, shoppers from the South accounted for over a quarter of cars in Northern car parks in Q1 2022, with a rise of 20% when compared with the same period last year. Levels of North to South shopping continues to be a lot lower than the number of shoppers travelling from the South to the North, though this period shows a 2% increase when compared with the same period last year. The changing course of the Covid-19 pandemic and related restrictions is noteworthy when comparing periods from 2021 and 2022.

Refer to the infographic below for more details.