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Irish Food and Drink Exports Approach €10 Billion For the First Time

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Irish Food and Drink Exports Approach €10 Billion For the First Time

Irish Food and Drink Exports Approach €10 Billion For the First Time
January 09
11:30 2014

The value of Irish food and drink exports has approached €10 billion for the first time in 2013, according to new figures released by Bord Bia (Irish Food Board). This represents an increase of 9% on the previous year and 40% in the last four years with revenues almost €3 billion higher than in 2009. Export values for dairy products and ingredients exceeded €3 billion for the first time and strong performances for meat and livestock (€3.3billion) and prepared foods (€1.65 billion) all contributed to the positive outcome.

The UK remains the largest export destination for Irish food and drink with 42% of exports worth an estimated €4.1 billion reaching that market in 2013. Exports of food and drink to other EU markets increased by 11% in 2013 reaching €3.2 billion with the key markets of Germany, France and the Netherlands all recording double digit growth. Strong exports to Asia, and to a lesser extent Russia, contributed positively toward an increase of 6% in the value of trade to international markets, which exceeded €2.6 billion in the period.

Exports to China grew by over 40%, with values trebling over the last three years to reach €390 million in 2013. It is now Ireland’s sixth largest market overall, driven in particular by strong dairy and pork exports. Seafood and beverage exports are also growing solidly albeit from a lower base, while eventual access to the beef market will act to further broaden the industry’s presence in the world’s fastest growing market.

Aidan Cotter, chief executive of Bord Bia, says: “Among the highlights of 2013 have been the double digit growth in dairy and beef export values, the strong recovery in sales to eurozone destinations, and the exceptional performance of the industry in China, now Ireland’s second largest dairy and third largest pork market.  The industry is well positioned to exploit the relentless growth in the global demand for food, underpinned by its grass-based production systems and its ability to build its presence on both new and established markets”.

The market environment for Irish food and drink remains positive for the year ahead, boosted by the strong growth recorded in 2013. A further rise in output is expected across key sectors and ongoing strong demand is anticipated in emerging economies. Much will depend on developments in more established markets and consumer sentiment will remain a critical driver.

A Bord Bia industry survey carried out among Irish food and drink manufacturers has revealed that exporters remain positive about prospects for their business. In total more than 8 out of 10 reported higher or similar turnover in the last 12 months. Innovation remains important for many food and drink companies with 91% of exporters reporting that they had introduced new products in the last three years. Looking ahead to 2014, some 75% of exporters expect their export sales to grow.

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