Ireland produced 1.3m tonnes of meat in 2015, a 20,000t increase in supply compared to 2014, new figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show.

This is equivalent to a 1.5% increase in supply compared to 2014, it said.

Livestock slaughterings increased by 0.8% to reach 1m tonnes, while imports of meat amounted to 281,800t, which the CSO has said is an increase of 4.4%.

Almost 70% of the total available supply of meat or 907,600t was exported, and the remaining 401,600t (30.7%) was used domestically.

Self-sufficiency in total meat and meat products remained unchanged at 274% between 2014 and 2015, while self-sufficiency in beef and veal dropped from 705% to 678%, according to the figures.

Irish meat exports

Irish meat and livestock exports were valued at €3.7 billion in 2015 by Bord Bia and Irish meat and livestock is exported to 52 markets.

Overall beef exports in 2015 were valued at €2.4 billion by Bord Bia, which was an increase of 6% on 2014.

Some 52% of Irish beef is destined for the UK market, which is an estimated 272,000t and it is Ireland’s biggest market.

UK beef consumption eased marginally in 2015 with imported beef remaining competitively priced, Bord Bia said.

Some 46% of beef exports, valued at €1 billion, went to other EU Member States while the remaining 2% of beef was exported to international markets.

Following a significant rise in 2014, beef exports to other EU markets declined by an estimated 8% in 2015 to stand at 241,000t.

Bord Bia found that lower exports were recorded to most markets, particularly France, Italy and Scandinavia. However, it said that this was offset somewhat by steady trade to Germany and a rise in exports to Belgium.

Meanwhile, Irish pigmeat exports were valued at €570m and sheepmeat exports were valued at €230m for 2015. Bord Bia valued poultry exports at €320m for 2015.