Value of Irish exports increases by 8%

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Bord Bia report finds increase of €370 million in first six months of the year



25 July 2013

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The value of Irish food and drink exports has increased by over 8%, or €370 million, during the first six months of the year, relative to the same period last year. The figures, released by Bord Bia this week suggest the increase was driven by a particularly strong performance in beef exports – up by 15% or €140 million, accounting for almost 40% of the total growth. Other strongly performing categories were prepared foods, up 15%, dairy, up 4%, while pigmeat increased by 9% and beverages, up 4% also recorded solid growth.

Commenting on the outcome, Aidan Cotter, chief executive, Bord Bia said: "The export figures for the first half of the year are particularly impressive at a time when overall exports have fallen by some 6%. Last year, Ireland’s food and drink exports surpassed the €9 billion mark for the first time and the prospects for the remainder of 2013 remain broadly positive with a strong demand for dairy and beef, combined with a more robust prepared foods performance and further steady growth in beverages."

"The performance of Irish beef exports in the first half year has been particularly striking, comprising a volume growth of almost 10% and price growth of 5%, driving the value of beef exports to reach almost €1.1 billion. The higher volume, which is set to continue through this year and into 2014, was anticipated, and follows a cyclically low volume in 2012," added Cotter.

There are signs of a continuing recovery in the processed beef segment of the UK market. Retail sales of fresh and frozen burgers and grills, according to Kantar Worldpanel, were 17.8% higher for the four weeks ending 7 July compared with the corresponding period a year ago. Earlier, in the period to mid-April, in the midst of the horsemeat crisis, sales of this category had dropped by as much as 43.2%.

Dairy exports also performed well due to high global prices which had offset lower milk production in Ireland due to poor grazing in the spring. The UK accounted for over 41% of total food and drink exports during the first half of 2013 driven mainly by higher meat and dairy exports. Exports to other EU markets account for almost 33% of exports up to the end of June as increased meat, dairy, prepared foods and beverage exports boosted trade. Overall Ireland exports some €4.7bn worth of food and drink in the first half of the year, compared to €4.3bn in the same period of 2012.



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