Ireland is expected to export less beef to the UK this year on the back of lower production, according EBLEX.

It says in general import volumes next year are forecast to be below the raised levels of 2014.

EBLEX in its outlook for 2015 says as a result of a drop in production, Irish beef exports this year are forecast to fall.

This should result in some downturn in shipments to the UK, it says.

With Bord Bia is optimistic that the recent opening of the US market offers new opportunities for Irish prime beef.

EBELX also says it is entirely possible that, as this trade gains traction during the year, some impact could be felt on the UK market.

Despite this, it also notes that if UK demand holds up better than that on the continent and given the expectation of on-going weakness in the euro, any reduction in Ireland’s trade with the UK could be moderated.

It notes that in mid-January, sterling was up as much as 8% on a year earlier against the euro and is now at its highest level since February 2008, before the start of the financial crisis.

British to follow Irish beef to the US?

EBLEX also says the recent announcement on the opening of the US market to Irish beef sends an important and positive signal to the other EU Member States who have requested the US to re-establish access.

From the UK perspective, EBLEX has been helping ensure the domestic industry is in the strongest position possible should a trade agreement be reached between the UK and the US for beef and lamb.

With the anticipation of an official inspection visit in early 2015, it has helped processors fully understand the level of detailed information required by the USDA to help negotiate market access and gain approval for export of ruminant material to the US in the not too distant future.