Irish ag’ exports reported to rise by 40% by 2030

Agriculture remains an important contributor to the Irish economy, accounting for one tenth of total goods exports and total agricultural exports are expected to rise by around 40% by 2030 according to HSBC bank.

The banks’ latest Trade Confidence Index says Ireland has established a major role in agricultural exports, with a broad-based sector that includes global players in food sales alongside smaller producers. Rapidly expanding middle classes in countries like China offer strong export potential.

The report also points to Ireland’s climate and traditional role as a food producer has enabled it to develop a globally significant agricultural sector, including being the largest beef exporter in Europe. It says the sector is very export-orientated, being over 200% self-sufficient in meat and over 1000% self-sufficient in butter.

HBSC says with the EU’s milk quota regime ending at the end of March 2015, this will present the dairy sector with a unique opportunity to boost production capacity and increase exports. Ireland’s grass-based production system provides it with a competitive advantage over many other EU producers, which can help it to win market share.

HBSC outlines that it is in this contest that it forecasts total agricultural exports are expected to rise by around 40% by 2030 (relative to levels in 2013), although this is in the context of a reduced overall share of Ireland’s total merchandise exports, as higher value-added sectors such as chemicals increase their export share.

“Ireland punches well above its weight in agricultural trade, with a broad-based sector that includes global players in food sales alongside smaller producers. Rapidly expanding middle classes in countries like China offer strong export potential. Our climate and traditional role as a food producer has enabled us to develop a globally significant agricultural sector, including being the largest beef exporter in Europe. With the EU’s milk quota regime ending at the end of March 2015, this will present the dairy sector with a unique opportunity to boost production capacity and increase exports,” said HSBC Ireland CEO Alan Duffy.

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