Beef exports to China expected to double in 2019 – Creed

The Chinese market has “significant potential to grow” as a destination for Irish beef exports, according to Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed.

In an interview with AgriLand at the Flavours of Ireland reception for Japanese food importers, organised by the Department of Agriculture and Bord Bia, the minister said exports could double – though admittedly from a low starting point.

“We’re due a visit in August from the Chinese authorities, which will include both beef and sheepmeat. I think the Chinese market has significant potential to grow,” Minister Creed said.

I think the Chinese market will grow significantly in 2019. I wouldn’t be surprised if we doubled our exports.

“Bear in mind we are coming at it from a low base; so doubling may even be modest, in terms of expectations,” the minister added.

Last year, some 1,400t of Irish beef worth €2.8 million was exported to China.

Turning to the Japanese market for pigmeat, Minister Creed was also optimistic:

“The pork market here is strong; I think pork and dairy were the lead commodities in 2018,” the minister said, noting the strong figures achieved in both sectors, with dairy exports accounting for €42 million, and pigmeat hitting €41.3 million to the Asian country.

Commenting on the pork market at the moment, the minister added: “Pig producers at home are having a welcome reprieve from the previous calamitous prices, so I think 2019 will be a very good year on the pork side.”