Ireland has imported an average of just over 3m tonnes of animal feed every year between 2010 and 2015, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, has revealed.

Minister Creed gave a breakdown of Ireland’s animal feed imports when he was responding to a parliamentary question from Fianna Fail TD Kevin O’Keeffe.

Over the six-year period, a total of 18.36m tonnes of animal feed were imported into Ireland. The highest level of imports was recorded in 2010, with a total of 3,644,703t of animal feed brought into the country.

The following year (2011) saw imports of animal feed drop to 2,543,107t, the lowest level over the course of the six years.

In 2010 and 2011, the top four countries of origin for animal feed imports into Ireland were made up of the UK, the US, Argentina and France. Brazil rounded out the top five in 2010, while the South American country was replaced by Canada in 2011.

Imports of animal feed remained above the 3m tonnes mark in both 2012 (3,051,687t) and 2013 (3,411,548t), Minister Creed has revealed.

Between 2012 and 2013, Argentina, the US, France and Poland comprised the top four countries of origin for Irish animal feed imports. The Netherlands and Ukraine shared fifth place in 2012 ad 2013 respectively.

The level of Irish animal feed imports stabilised in 2014 and 2015. In 2014 a total of 2,837,488t of animal feed were imported into the country; the following year saw import levels climb to 2,875,923t.

The top five countries of origin for animal feed imports into Ireland consisted of the US, Argentina, France, the UK and Canada – over the course of both years.

A look back at the six-year period shows that the US, Argentina and France have consistently remained within the top five countries of origin, when it comes to the importation of animal feed into Ireland.