Irish beef industry shows “resilience”, says Bord Bia report

Irish beef industry shows “resilience”, says Bord Bia report

Irish food and horticulture board Bord Bia has unveiled its Export Performance and Prospects report, which showcases €16.3 billion (£14.1 billion) in food, drink and horticulture exports in 2023.

Livestock and meat exports were down less than 1% when compared to the year prior.

The board described Ireland’s exports to the UK as having “weathered the storm” and “emerged more resilient”, with Irish beef exports to the UK reaching an estimated €1.3 billion (£1.1 billion), a 10% value increase, elevating the UK market’s share to 47%. This was up from its 44% in 2022.

Bord Bia stated that increases in the value of beef exports “offset declines in other meat categories”, showcasing the “resilience” of the Irish beef industry.

The report crowned the UK as Ireland’s largest single export destination, with an estimated €1.3 billion (£1.1 billion) in food and drink exports – this constituted a 34% share of total exports.

Packaged Consumer Food (PCF) exports increased from €1.9 billion (£1.6 billion) in 2022 to €2 billion (£1.6 billion) in 2023, but Bord Bia reported that the impact of inflation, cost-of-living pressures and “downward pressure” on trade prices have resulted in a decline in export values across various sectors.

Export decreases

Meat and livestock sector exports in 2023 were valued at €4.2 billion (£3.6 billion), down less than 1% when compared with 2022.

Dairy exports and Irish horticulture and cereal exports were all down from 2022 rates, but Bord Bia said that “industry remains undeterred”, with 73% of Irish food and drink exporters “expressing optimism for robust market growth” in 2024.

The board said that market volatility and inflation remained “areas of concern”, necessitating “strategic” planning.

Donal Denvir, Bord Bia’s director UK, said: “Despite market challenges, Ireland’s food and drink industry, bolstered by a strong UK partnership, continues to perform well.

“Our industry stands out as a resilient and unwavering source of food and drinks our UK partners continue to benefit from.”

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