Ireland's meat exports hit new record in 2017
The value of Irish food, drink and horticulture exports increased by 13 percent in 2017, to reach €12.6 billion for the first time, according to an announcement made by the minister of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
Ireland's beef exports rose by 5 percent reaching €2.5 billion, a figure that makes beef occupy the largest share of the State's food trade.
On the other hand, poultry exports reached €295 million, with an increase of 3 percent, while pork exports rose by 14 percent to €712 million. Lamb exports also reported an increase of 12 percent in value to €274 million.
The UK remains Ireland’s key export market, however, the percentage share of exports to the UK declined by two points to 35 percent of total exports. This reduction disguises the fact that sales still increased for the year by 7 percent to over €4.5bn.
Meanwhile, according to Bord Bia shipments of Irish food and drink to international markets grew by 17 percent to exceed €4bn for the first time. These are driven by strong sales of dairy products in North America, Africa and Asia, and beverages which performed well in North America. Dairy accounts for some 45 percent of all sales to international markets, while beverages represent some 19 percent of total international exports. Further expansion was recorded in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, while the United States which recorded robust growth levels to exceed €1bn for the first time. Elsewhere, exports to China, driven principally by dairy and pigmeat, grew by 5 percent for the year to €700mln.
Bord Bia CEO, Tara McCarthy, remains optimistic about the industry’s prospects for the year ahead. “While Brexit remains the great unknown, we still expect 2018 to be another year of growth, albeit at lower levels. Our key export categories, dairy and beef, remain stable with further volume growth anticipated. This coupled with the significant opportunities evident in beverages, in particular Irish whiskey, provide further reasoning for the positive outlook.”
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