€569,000 worth of Irish beef exported to the US in November – CSO

Some 1,659t of Irish beef was exported to the United States (US) during the 11-month period ending November 2016, figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show.

In value terms these beef exports were worth €9.2m, according to the CSO.

Irish beef was granted access to the ‘lucrative’ US market in January 2015, at the time becoming the first European Member State to do so in over 15 years due to a ban on EU beef for BSE reasons.

These figures show that in November, 98t of Irish beef was exported to the US, worth €569,000.

In terms of meat cuts, in November 73t of these exports were in the form of frozen offal with the remaining 25t made up of frozen, boneless cuts. According to these figures, no fresh or chilled beef was sent to the US in November.

US beef
Source: CSO

Ireland received approval to export manufacturing beef (mince) to the US market in July of 2016. To date, no Irish manufacturing beef has been exported, however a number of plants are awaiting export approval.

Ireland was also the first EU Member State to achieve this status.

The total US beef market is estimated at 11m metric tonnes per annum and is split 60% food-service and 40% grocery retail.

Of this figure, in the region of 1m tonnes of this is imported beef and the bulk of this is in the form of manufacturing beef.

Currently, the grass-fed, natural and organic beef category is a small volume category compared to conventional and grain fed beef.

The grass-fed category currently accounts for approximately 10% of total volume, but it is estimated to be growing at approximately 20% per annum.

Earlier this week, France became the fourth EU Member State to gain clearance to export beef to the US market. It joined Ireland, the Netherlands and Lithuania in receiving access.

The US beef market closed access for EU beef in January 1998 when the US introduced restrictions on imports of beef, sheep and goats, following the BSE crisis.