Category Archives: IRBA

16/5/15: Russian Trade in Goods: 1Q 2015


Per BOFIT latest data, exports of Russian gas were down 10% y/y in 2014 with total of 175bn cubic meters (bcm) of gas exported. exports to Ukraine were down 44% to 15bcm, to Europe and Turkey down 9% to 126bcm. Russian LNG exports stood at around 14bcm in 2014, virtually unchanged on 2013.

Meanwhile, the latest figures for external trade, covering 1Q 2015 show exports of goods down 28% y/y (predominantly due to price effects - ruble devaluation and lower prices charged). Volume of exports actually rose across several categories, including crude oil (+13% y/y in volume), petroleum products (+24% y/y in volume), as well as exports of copper, fertilisers and grain. Share of oil and gas in overall exports remained largely unchanged at around 2/3rds.

Biggest volume of exports went to the EU, as usual, although value of exports shipped to the EU fell by roughly 1/3rd. Overall, EU received about 1.2 of Russian goods exports with APEC taking 20%.

On imports side, the opposite holds: APEC became the largest supplier of goods to the Russian market as imports from the EU dropped 44% y/y in 1Q 2015 more sharply than the overall imports decline of 37% y/y. Imports from China fell by 1/3rd, but China remained the largest single supplier to the Russian markets with 20% share of overall Russian imports of goods.

Ireland's bilateral trade in goods with Russia also suffered in 1Q 2015. Per latest CSO data, released this week, Irish merchandise exports to Russia totalled EUR78mln in 1Q 2015 against EUR157mln in 1Q 2014 - a 50% drop y/y. Irish merchandise imports from Russia totalled EUR52mln over the 1Q 2015, down only 1.6% y/y. As the result, trade balance (merchandise trade only) has deteriorated significantly: in 1Q 2015, Irish trade surplus vis-a-vis Russia stood at EUR104mln, this has now declined to EUR26mln (a drop of 75% y/y).

It is worth noting that in 2008-2009, Irish merchandise exports to Russia declined 30% y/y over 1Q-4Q period.

13/3/15: Irish Bilateral Trade in Goods with BRIC: 2014


Full year 2014 data on Irish bilateral trade in goods with the BRIC countries is showing some interesting changes to historical patterns worth highlighting. Let's start with country-specific analysis:

Russia: 


Irish exports to Russia (goods only) reached EUR722 million in 2014, up 13.3% y/y from EUR637 million in 2013. Over the last five years, Irish exports to Russia almost doubled, rising 198%. Russia now accounts for 21.6% of Ireland's total exports to BRIC economies, up from 8.2% in 2009. Trade balance with Russia (goods only) has risen more modestly to EUR496 million, up just 1.43%, marking the second highest bilateral trade balance with Russia (the highest one was achieved in 2012 at EUR503 million). Still, Ireland's trade balance with Russia is the largest for all BRIC and Irish exports to Russia now exceeds the combined exports from Ireland to Brazil and India for the fourth year in a row. Over the last 5 years, cumulative trade in goods surplus in favour of Ireland in trade with Russia stands at EUR2.085 billion.

Brazil:


Irish exports to Brazil fell from EUR262 million in 2013 to EUR256 million in 2014 (a drop of 2.3% that effectively reverses the rise of 2.34% recorded in 2013). As the result, 2014 exports to Brazil exactly matched EUR256 million level of exports achieved in 2013. Over the last 5 years, Irish exports to Brazil have grown only 21.2% cumulatively - the second worst performance in BRIC. As the result of sharper contraction in imports, Irish trade balance with Brazil actually managed to improve in 2014. 2014 trade in goods surplus for Ireland's trade with Brazil was EUR97 million as opposed to a deficit of EUR12 million recorded in 2013 and a deficit of EUR260 million recorded in 2012. Over the last 5 years, cumulative trade in goods deficit against Ireland in trade with Brazil stands at EUR7.9 million.


India:


Irish exports to India fell from EUR304 million in 2013 to EUR248 million in 2014 (a drop of 18.4% that significantly reverses the rise of 29.4% recorded in 2013). As the result, 2014 exports to India almost matched EUR235 million level of exports achieved in 2013. Over the last 5 years, Irish exports to India have grown only 56.5% cumulatively - the second best performance in BRIC after Russia. As the result of a small rise in imports, Irish trade balance with India actually managed to deteriorate in 2014. 2014 trade in goods deficit for Ireland's trade with India was EUR154 million as opposed to a deficit of EUR83 million recorded in 2013 and a deficit of EUR130 million recorded in 2012. 2014 was the worst deficit year in our bilateral trade with India since the data on bilateral trade became available in 1998. Over the last 5 years, cumulative trade in goods deficit against Ireland in trade with India stands at EUR673.7 million.


China:

Irish exports to China rose from EUR1,941 million in 2013 to EUR2,111 million in 2014 (a rise of 8.8% that largely reverses the fall of 10.4% recorded in 2013). As the result, 2014 exports to China almost matched EUR2,167 million level of exports achieved in 2013. Over the last 5 years, Irish exports to China have shrunk by 9.4% cumulatively - the worst performance in BRIC. Adding insult to the injury, as the result of a small rise in imports, Irish trade balance with China actually managed to deteriorate in 2014. 2014 trade in goods deficit for Ireland's trade with China was EUR1,370 million as opposed to a deficit of EUR1,150 million recorded in 2013 and a deficit of EUR693 million recorded in 2012. 2014 was the worst deficit year in our bilateral trade with China since 2008. Over the last 5 years, cumulative trade in goods deficit against Ireland in trade with China stands at EUR3,849 million.


Combined bilateral trade with BRIC:


Irish exports to BRIC markets (goods only) rose to EUR3,337 million in 2014, rising 6.2% y/y from EUR3,114 million in 2013 and virtually reversing the losses sustained between 2013 and 2012 to almost match 2011 level of EUR3,324 million. Over the last 5 years, exports from Ireland into BRIC economies rose 13.4% cumulatively - hardly an impressive performance. Meanwhile, Irish imports from BRIC rose from EUR3,900 million in 2013 to EUR4,268 million in 2014. As the result, Irish trade deficit with BRIC economies rose from EUR756 million in 2013 to EUR931 million in 2014. Thus, 2014 marked the worst trade deficit with BRIC economies since 2008. 5 year cumulative trade deficit between Ireland and BRIC currently stands at EUR2,445.8 million


Quite surprisingly, Irish bilateral trade in goods with Russia - subject to EU sanctions, US sanctions-induced lower propensity for US multinationals to engage in Russia, and subject to severe disruption of financial flows, including trade credits and insurance - has managed to substantially outperform our trade with other BRIC economies and expand by 20.8% y/y in terms of combined trade flows and 13.4% in terms of exports to Russia. The reason for this the longer-term nature of our exporters engagement in the Russian markets and more partnership-based approach to trade. Irish exports to Russia are strongly dominated by indigenous, smaller exporters who tend to secure longer-term relationship-based engagement in the market. In addition, Irish exports to Russia are strongly developed in the areas of food production and agri-food technologies - two sectors that saw growth in investment in Russia.