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IMDO Publishes Volume 20 of The Irish Maritime Transport Economist

In May 2023, the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO) published the 20th edition of the Irish Maritime Transport Economist, a performance report of Ireland’s maritime industry for the previous year. The 20th edition reflects on 2022, highlighting the challenges faced in Ireland and internationally with regards to global trade. It begins with a Ministerial Foreword by Minister of State at the Department of Transport and at the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications, Jack Chambers, and an introduction by IMDO Director Liam Lacey.

The report highlights three issues faced by the industry in 2022: the Russian invasion of Ukraine, post-Brexit challenges, and global inflation.

Trade with Russia and Ukraine

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the EU implemented economic sanctions against Russia. These resulted in a 50% decrease in imported tonnes from Russia into Ireland, largely on petroleum, coal and embargoed goods. This level of trade is reflected across the EU broadly, with Russia’s share of non-EU imports falling from 9.5% to less than 2% between February 2022 and March 2023.

In response to the difficulties faced as a result of the ongoing war, Irish importers found new markets. These largely resulted in longer and more expensive trade routes, met locally with concerns over food and fuel shortages, and fears over further price increases.

Post-Brexit Difficulties in Irish Imports

The impact of Brexit on Irish imports is measured by traffic between Ireland the EU (ROI – EU) and Ireland and Great Britain (ROI – BG). Post-Brexit, ROI – EU traffic accounts for one third of all RoRo units, compared to one sixth before Brexit. Likewise, traffic on ROI – GB routes has been consistently 20% below their pre-Brexit levels. IMDO notes a decline in the use of the UK Landbridge as the main catalyst for these changes.

Looking forward, Minister Chambers warns of new rounds of Brexit changes to be implemented in 2023. Full customs controls will be introduced for goods moving directly from Ireland to ports in Great Britain. In addition, export health certificates and phytosanitary certificates will be introduced for medium-risk animal products and plant products.

Global Inflation

Inflation in Ireland and the EU averaged at 8% in 2022. Goods inflation, which excludes the service economy, ran at 12% in the Euro Area.

The IMBO’s iShip index declined by 1% in 2022, but remains above pre-pandemic levels.

Likewise, the RoRo market continued to grow by 4%, surpassing 1.2m units for the first time. Despite this, IMDO notes that the impact of inflation resulted in RoRo and LoLo volumes in the first half of the year outperforming those of the latter half.

Read the full Irish Maritime Transport Economist

The Irish Maritime Transport Economist is available to read on the IMDO website. Click the button below to be brought directly to Volume 20.


Read the full report


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