£
2018
All data 2018*

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

Total Cross-Border Trade
7.384bn
£6.515bn
  • €4.725bn
    £4.169bn
    North - South
  • €2.659bn
    £2.346bn
    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 - 2018

£

The chart below shows the total Cross-Border trade in goods (millions) from 1995 to 2018

  • 0 1000 2000 3000 4000
  • 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

Total
Cross-Border Trade in Manufactured Goods

2018

3,902m £3,442.6m

£
  • Food drink icon

    Food, drink & tobacco

    Total: 
    1,553.29m
    £1,370.43m
    810.42m
    £715m
    North to South
    742.87m
    £655.43m
    South to North
  • Manu

    Manufacturing not elsewhere

    Total: 
    423.40m
    £373.56m
    79.340m
    £70m
    North to South
    344.06m
    £303.56m
    South to North
  • Chem

    Chemicals and chemical products

    Total: 
    401.78m
    £354.49m
    75.94m
    £67m
    North to South
    325.84m
    £287.49m
    South to North
  • Metals

    Basic metals & products

    Total: 
    276.47m
    £243.92m
    166.62m
    £147m
    North to South
    109.85m
    £96.92m
    South to North
  • Mechanical

    Mechanical engineering

    Total: 
    191.62m
    £169.06m
    107.68m
    £95m
    North to South
    83.94m
    £74.06m
    South to North
  • Rubber

    Rubber & plastic products

    Total: 
    185.75m
    £163.88m
    109.95m
    £97m
    North to South
    75.80m
    £66.88m
    South to North
  • Non metal

    Non metallic mineral products

    Total: 
    182.21m
    £160.76m
    86.14m
    £76m
    North to South
    96.07m
    £84.76
    South to North
  • Textiles icon

    Textiles, clothing & leather

    Total: 
    157.18m
    £138.68m
    48.74m
    £43m
    North to South
    108.44m
    £95.68m
    South to North
  • Wood icon

    Wood & wood products

    Total: 
    143.27m
    £126.40m
    97.48m
    £86m
    North to South
    45.79m
    £40.40m
    South to North
  • Paper icon

    Pulp paper & publishing

    Total: 
    131.03m
    £115.60m
    108.81m
    £96m
    North to South
    22.22m
    £19.60m
    South to North
  • Transport icon

    Transport equipment

    Total: 
    127.74m
    £112.70m
    87.28m
    £77m
    North to South
    40.46m
    £35.70m
    South to North
  • Electrical

    Electrical & optical equipment

    Total: 
    98.75m
    £87.12m
    52.14m
    £46m
    North to South
    46.61m
    £41.12m
    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
2018

3.48bn £3.07bn

£

The chart below shows the total Cross-Border Services trade (billions) from 2011 to 2018


  • 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

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. While there is some cross-border retail trade towards Ireland the majority stems from travel into Northern Ireland.

The drop in retail footfall seen in Q1 & Q2 2020 due to the pandemic has changed with an uplift in cross-border shopping flows both ways in Q3. North to South shopping is at 13% (up from 9% in Q2) and South to North shopping up to 16% from 9%.

Watch the video below for the latest statistics