Over 70% of the total supply of meat in Ireland was exported in 2017, according to the latest statistics from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

The total supply of meat in Ireland reached 1.43 million tonnes last year. This represented an increase of 63,171t or a jump of 4.6% versus statistics from 2016.

Approximately 1.019 million tonnes were exported in 2017, while 411,000t were used domestically.

Livestock slaughterings increased by 4.9% to reach about 1.13 million tonnes, while imports of meat and meat products amounted to 299,585t – an increase of 3.5%, the CSO added.


Between 2016 and 2017, self-sufficiency in total meat and meat products increased from 269% to 288%, figures show.

Ireland’s self-sufficiency in beef and veal also increased from 679% in 2016 to 683% last year – with around 617,000t slaughtered here in Ireland and 41,000t imported.

Exports amounted to 565,000t last year, while human consumption per capita in Ireland amounted to 19.5kg, the figures show.

Meanwhile, our self-sufficiency in terms of pigment jumped from 219% to 240% in the space of the same 12-month period. Human consumption per capita dropped from 31.2kg in 2016 to 28.9kg last year.

Slaughterings accounted for 294,000t, while imports added a further 115,000t to the total supply of pigmeat in Ireland in 2017. Some 271,000t of this pigmeat was then exported out of Ireland last year.

Sheepmeat had the lowest level of human consumption per capita in Ireland last year at just 3.3kg – a figure which has remained relatively static in recent years.

Ireland is currently 365% self-sufficient when it comes to sheepmeat. About 67,000t of sheepmeat was slaughtered in Ireland last year, while 6,000t was imported. But a total of 57,000t was exported – an increase of 6,000t compared to figures from 2016.

In terms of poultry meat, the CSO figures indicate that Ireland was 93% self-sufficient in 2017. Some 152,000t were produced through slaughterings, while 137,000t were imported. The level of exports equated to 126,000t last year.