A total of 804t of Irish beef has been exported to the US in 2017, according to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed. These figures are correct up until mid-June, he added.

Ireland has been shipping beef to the US since early 2015. To date, the total amount of beef exported across the Atlantic Ocean equates to 4,116t; beef exports amounted to 2,400t in 2016 alone.

Minister Creed revealed the figures, which are a combination of Central Statistics Office (CSO) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) data, in response to a parliamentary question from Fianna Fail’s Agriculture Spokesperson Charlie McConalogue.

Meanwhile, 1,562t of pig meat has been exported to the US between January and mid-June. This figure equalled 6,360t in the entirety of 2016, with a value exceeding €25 million.

Just shy of 7,100t of dairy products have been exported to the US, with a total value of €37.1 million; but this figure is only correct up until March 2017.

Volume and value of different Irish exports to the US

No Irish sheepmeat has been exported to the US in recent years, but it was recently announced that dates for an inspection visit to Ireland in September – by the USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Services – have been confirmed.

It is hoped the inspection visit will progress the matter of Irish sheepmeat access to the US, Minister Creed said. The announcement was made during his week-long trade mission to both the US and Mexico.

The US market

The US has proved to be an important market for Irish pork and dairy exports in the past decade, Minister Creed said.

Exports of beef have also developed well since Ireland became the first EU member state to get market access in January 2015, he added.

No EU member state has access for sheepmeat and so no exports of lamb have taken place.

“Regarding dairy exports, it should be noted that – following strong growth between 2014 and 2016 – the value of Irish dairy product exports to the US increased by 26% in the first three months of 2017 versus the same period in 2016,” he said.

The volume and value of products exported to any particular market can be affected by many factors, Minister Creed explained.

These factors can include: currency fluctuations; global supply and demand dynamics; competition from other exporters; available quotas; and tariffs, he concluded.