Irish exports increased by 23 per cent in August (to €7.97 billion) from July, figures from the Central Statistics Office have shown.

Coupled with a small increase of €29 million (1 per cent) in imports, the seasonally adjusted trade surplus increased by €1.43 billion — or about 75 per cent – to stand at €3.3 billion.

Comparing August 2014 with August 2013, the value of exports increased by €409 million (6 per cent).

The CSO said the main driver was an increase of €456 million in the exports of organic chemicals.

The EU accounted for €3.86 billion (52 per cent) of total exports in August, while the United States was the main non-EU destination, accounting for 20 per cent of total exports in the month.

The value of imports increase by about €147 million on August 2013, with the EU accounting for 62 per cent of imports and Britain accounting for 30 per cent.

The US and China were the main non-EU sources of imports.