The volume of Irish beef exported jumped by 5% in 2016 on the year before, Bord Bia’s Mark Zieg has said, but the value of exports declined by 1%.

Zieg, the Bord Bia Beef Sector Manager said some 535,000t of beef was exported from Ireland in 2016, valued at €2.38 billion.

The majority of this beef was shipped to the UK, with export volumes sitting at about 270,000t, down 2% on the year before.

He added that 60,000t of beef was exported to France and 50,000t of beef was shipped to Holland, while export volumes to Italy and Sweden also increased on the year before.

There was also a 20% increase in volumes of beef shipped to Germany, with 23,000t of high-value beef exported to the European state.

Meanwhile, he added that Denmark was the only European country to import less beef from Ireland, with volumes down by 8% on the year before.

There was also a strong performance in exports to international markets, driven by increases in exports to the US and Asia.

Beef exports to international markets increased from 15,000t to 25,000t on the year before, he said, an increase of 67%.

Main beef export market moves:

  • UK: -2%
  • France: +1%
  • Holland: +18%
  • Italy: +9%
  • Sweden: +6%
  • Germany: +20%
  • Spain: +13%
  • Denmark: -8%
  • Belgium: +17%
  • International: +67%

A look at international markets

Zieg also said that beef production is growing in the two biggest beef producing countries – the US and Brazil, at the recent Bord Bia Meat Market Seminar.

“The big story that I see is the cattle trade out of Australia is stopping. They have been culling their cows and herds as a result of drought.

“Over the last year, we have seen the tightest supplies in 20 years with beef exports back by 24%.”

He added that over the past five years beef production in Australia has dropped by 13%.