Ireland imported a whopping 72,000 tonnes of potatoes last year
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Ireland imported a whopping 72,000 tonnes of potatoes last year

FIGURES FROM the Central Statistics Office (CSO) for Ireland have revealed the amount of goods imported and exported into the country every year.

And it makes for some fascinating reading for the potato lovers among us.

While Ireland imported almost €8 billion of food and drink last year, the most eyebrow-raising statistic came with the number of potatoes brought into the country.

According to the CSO stats, 72,000 tonnes of potatoes were imported into Ireland in 2017 and The Irish Post has crunched the numbers to really break that figure down.

72,000 tonnes of potatoes equate to about 400 million potatoes in total.

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It also works out at around 85 potatoes per person, per year, in Ireland.

The Irish Post's potato-based comparisons don't end there either.

Based on those figures, Ireland imported the equivalent weight in potatoes of 12,000 elephants, 120 Airbus A380s or 480 Toblerones (150g).

That number is also the same weight as one million Seamus Colemans in potatoes or 150 million pints of Guinness - basically, a lot of spuds.

According to the new stats Ireland exported €123 billion worth of goods in 2017 and imported a further €79 billion.

Over €12 billion worth of food and drink was exported out of Ireland in 2017, with €4.6 billion of that figure going to the UK.

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Ireland's exports included around 229,000 tonnes of cheese, 210,000 tonnes of butter, 165,000 tonnes of infant formula, 436 million litres of beer and 30 million litres of whiskey.

Ireland's biggest export market was America, with €33 billion of exports while the figures showed that the UK was the biggest partner for goods imports, with a value of almost €19 billion.

Commenting on the figures, CSO statistician Ciarán Counihan said, "Ireland's export trade was valued at €123 billion in 2017, while there were €79 billion of goods imported.

"Ireland imported €7.7 billion of food and drink in 2017, which included €3.7 billion from the UK. Ireland's imports included 72,000 tonnes of potatoes, 21,000 tonnes of coffee, 280 million litres of sugared non-alcoholic drinks, 70 million litres of mineral water and 83 million litres of wine," he said.