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Mar. 12, 2019

Butter, Beer, and Whiskey: Irish Import Data

Tags: Customs
Rachel Barnette

As a data-driven freight forwarder, we love import/export data. So, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day this week, we took a look at some of the U.S.’ favorite Irish imports in 2018. Contact lenses (HTS 9001.30.00.00) and electrical connectors (HTS 8536.69.40.40) topped the list*, but we were more interested in the Republic of Ireland’s tastier exports: butter, beer, and whiskey.

Irish Butter

The U.S. imported a whopping 25,432,804 kg of butter (HTS code 0405.10.20.00) from Ireland in 2018, up from a mere 68,843 kg in 1996. Irish butter, which some Americans refer to as “fancy” butter, has become wildly popular in the U.S. and accounted for almost 23,000 tons of butter sales last year.

Irish Beer

Multiple beer HTS codes were high on 2018’s import list (a pint, anyone?):

  • 47,609,523 liters of 2203.00.00.90 (beer made from malt in containers over 4 liters)
  • 23,890,476 liters of 2203.00.00.60 (beer made from malt in containers not over 4 liters)
  • 47,929,830 liters of 2203.00.00.30 (beer made from malt in glass containers not over 4 liters)

152.5% more beer is sold on St. Patrick’s Day than any other day of the year, likely causing the spike in imports in advance of March 2018. 7,907,100 liters of 2203.00.00.90 were imported in January of that year, and imports dropped to 1,280,215 liters the following April. We saw the same trend with 2203.00.00.60, with 5,946,435 liters imported in January of 2018, dropping to 335,832 liters in April.

Irish Whiskey

Whiskey rounds out our list, with 29,739,496 liters of HTS code 2208.30.30.30 (Irish and Scotch whiskeys in containers not holding over four liters) imported into the U.S. from Ireland in 2018.

Ireland exports to the U.S. of this HTS code in 2018 were topped only by the United Kingdom, which exported 58,596,449 liters to the United States.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

*All data is from the U.S. Census Bureau and refers to the Republic of Ireland. Northern Ireland is included in the United Kingdom's import data and could not be differentiated from other UK imports.

For a high-level overview of import data, explore Flexport.com/data.

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