Here’s how much Irish beef went to the US this year to date

Irish beef is back on the menu in the US for the past year and a half and while figures for the first year were below expectations, new figures show that significant gains have been made.

There are currently six Irish beef processing plants approved to export beef to the US and exports in 2015 are estimated at over €14m for almost 1,800t of beef.

Figures from the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, for the first six months of this year, show that Ireland exported almost 1,200t of beef, which would be a significant jump on 2015 figures.

In total US beef consumption is estimated at 11m tonnes per annum. Approximately 1m tonnes of this is imported, the bulk of which is manufacturing beef. According to the Minister, Ireland received a major reputational boost in 2015 as the first EU Member State to gain access to the US market for beef.

Ireland was granted approval to export manufacturing beef (mince) to the US in July 2016. According to the Minister, this complements the other market outlets we have secured in the last two years, the development of which is a key element of our Food Wise 2025 strategy.

While Irish beef exports to the US in 2015 were worth approximately €11m, significantly short of the €50-100m value the previous Minister for Agriculture predicted was possible in the first year, Irish beef exports to the US could still reach the €100m mark in the foreseeable future, according to Bord Bia.

Figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) revealed by Agriland, showed that only 31t of beef went to the US in the first six months of 2015 and were worth just €194,000.

Initially, the then Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney said the US could take up to 20,000t of Irish beef, worth €100m.