DUBLIN, July 15 (Xinhua) -- Ireland's goods imports and exports continued to fall in May due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, but at slower pace, showed the figures released by the country's Central Statistics Office (CSO) on Wednesday.
In May, the unadjusted value of goods imported by Ireland was 5.857 billion euros (about 6.69 billion U.S. dollars), down 20 percent when compared with the same month of last year, while the value of the goods exported by the country was 12.968 billion euros, down 5 percent year-on-year.
The falling rates of Ireland's imports and exports in May showed improvement when compared with April during which the country's imports and exports dropped by nearly 22 percent and 10 percent respectively over a year ago.
The impact of the COVID-19 crisis on Ireland's external trade, especially on its exports started in April after the country's goods export value hit a record high of over 17 billion euros in March.
The performance of Ireland's imports and exports in June will largely depend on the performance in the markets of the European Union (EU), the United States and Britain as they are the three main markets for the Irish imported and exported goods, said local analysts.
In May, the EU accounted for 1.631 billion euros or nearly 28 percent of the total goods imported by Ireland, followed by Britain which accounted for 1.476 billion euros or over 25 percent of the country's total imports.
The EU is also the largest export market for Irish goods. In May, Ireland exported a total of 4.953 billion euros worth of goods to the EU, accounting for 38 percent of the country's total exports, followed by the United States which accounted for 4.315 billion euros or 33 percent of the country's total.
The CSO figures also showed that China is the largest trade partner of Ireland in Asia, an emerging market for Irish imported and exported goods. In May, Ireland imported 582 million euros worth of goods from China while its exports to the country were valued at 882 million euros.
During the first five months of this year, Ireland's total imports were valued at 33.59 billion euros, down 8 percent over a year ago while its total exports were valued at 67.702 billion euros, up 6 percent year-on-year, according to the CSO. (1 euro =1.142 U.S. dollars)