Where did Ireland’s beef and sheepmeat imports come from in 2016?

A detailed breakdown of where Ireland’s beef and sheepmeat imports came from in 2016 has been revealed by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed.

Minister Creed was responding to a parliamentary question from Fianna Fail TD Jackie Cahill.

Figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) highlighted the countries of origin of both meat products, Minister Creed said.

Typically, imports into Ireland are made up of lower-value manufacturing product or carcase beef or sheep-meat, which undergoes some further processing by Irish companies before re-export.

“Whilst Ireland is of course a net exporter of both beef and sheep-meat, imports of both these products nonetheless make an important contribution to the overall output of these sectors nationally and constitute a necessary component of the overall trade flows in these sectors,” he added.

Imports from Britain topped the list with regards to beef in 2016, with just over 22,000t imported into Ireland last year. These imports were valued at just over €84.2m.

Northern Ireland was a distant second, with just under 4,000t of beef imported in 2016. These imports equated to a value of €14.3m.

Rounding out the top three was the Netherlands, which was ahead of Germany. A total of 818t was imported from the Netherlands into Ireland last year; 144t more than Germany.

However, German beef imports were valued at nearly €0.5m more than imports from the Netherlands.

Origins of beef imports into Ireland in 2016

Similar to beef imports, Britain topped Ireland’s sheepmeat imports (excluding offals) league table. Close to 3,400t were imported into Ireland last year; with a value of approximately €17.4m.

Meanwhile, New Zealand and France took second and third positions respectively.

Sheepmeat Imports 2016 excluding Offals.
Origins of sheep-meat imports into Ireland in 2016 (excluding offals)

Just 81t of sheep-meat were imported from New Zealand in 2016, compared to 58t from France. Imports from New Zealand were valued at €364,000, while a value of €262,000 was placed on the imports from France.