The outlook for Irish beef exports to the EU and the UK remains “broadly positive” for 2022, according to Bord Bia’s Export Performance and Prospects report, published yesterday (Wednesday, January 12).

According to the report, beef markets look set to be relatively balanced in terms of supply and demand.

Bord Bia has outlined that global market demand seems set to remain good, while global beef supplies look to be tight as result of pressure on output from both North and South America as a result of drought conditions in both regions in 2021.

Market demand for Irish beef will be influenced by the sustained demand from key British customers and a continuation of free access to that market in 2022.

However, the Bord Bia outlook noted that while UK beef production is forecast to increase by 10,000t in 2022, there is also an expectation that import demand will be maintained at the 2021 level of 376,000t.

Beef consumption is forecast to decline by 2%, however this represents a return to 2019 consumption levels, according to the report.

Within this trend of a 2% decline in beef consumption, there is an expectation that there will be a sustained demand for Irish beef imports from the retail and quick service sectors.

Trade to the EU markets is expected to remain positive as consumption is predicted to be largely maintained.

The decline in European beef production is set to continue, with a drop of 1.4% anticipated by the EU Beef Forecast Working Group.

Interestingly, the Bord Bia report noted “that there will be some growth in non-EU beef imports in 2022” but added that “the recovery in demand from the foodservice sector and greater exports to international markets should keep largely positive market dynamics in place”.

Concluding, the report outlined that an overview of the beef market signals for 2022 would indicate that “further growth in the volume of Irish beef shipped to the EU markets” will likely be observed in 2022.