Irish beef exports went to 63 different countries in the first six months of this year – 11 more countries than in 2014, but the overall volumes of beef being exported are down.

This year, to date, Ireland has exported 246,225t of beef, according to CSO figures. This is worth, it calculates, €1.086bn.

In terms of volumes the figure for 2015 is down on 2014 – in the first six months of 2014 Ireland exported 248,586t of beef, worth €1.027bn.

The value of beef being exported increased by €59.206m – but the UK alone accounted for an increase of €60.607m in our beef exports value.

And, based on volumes we exported 2,361t less beef in the first six months of 2015, compared to the first six months of 2014.

In 2014, Ireland exported to 52 different countries around the world. This year it has exported beef to 63 countries. The most lucrative new market for Irish beef exports was China, which was worth €5,985,000.

The next most valuable market, after China, for Irish beef was French Polynesia in the first six months of 2015, which took 127t worth €326,000.

New Markets

The new countries Ireland exported to this year were: Angola (176t), Australia (91t), Bahrain (1t), Barbados (26t), Chile (49t), China (3,294t), Congo (97t), Croatia (23t), French Polynesia (157t), Kosovo (108t), Liberia (51t), Libya (27t),  New Caledonia (20t), Norway (28t), Serbia (less than 1t), Tanzania (51t), Turkey (25t), US (31t).

While not a new market for 2015, the increase in exports of Irish beef to Japan jumped from 4t in the first six months of 2014 to 334t in the first six months of 2015, worth €912,000.

However, the vast majority of these exports were offal – 321t of the beef exports to Japan were frozen offal.

Lost Markets

The closure of the Russian market means that the 7,412t we exported there in the first six months of 2014 was lost in 2015.

Further, exports in 2014 to Cameroon (62t), Comoros (50t), Egypt (25t), Jordan (25t), Lebanon (25t), and Namibia (75t), were not repeated – none of these countries have taken Irish beef so far this year.