Industry & Business

Irish beef exports to the US worth just €6m

Irish beef exports to the US worth just €6m

April 11
10:41 2016

stock-photo-76641289-raw-lamb-chops-meat-on-tray700 tonnes of beef were exported to the US since it lifted its ban on importing beef from Ireland over one year ago. The total value of Irish beef exports to the US was only €6m during the first quarter of this year.

Despite the much-publicised opening of these markets – Canada and Japan have also rescinded BSE-inspired bans – they have yet to yield any significant expansion in trade.

When the decision to allow Irish producers to sell into the US market was made, acting Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney said that Ireland could sell up to 20,000 tonnes to the US and that this trade would be worth €100m per year to the Irish beef industry.

The current agreement only allows the sale of high-value steak cuts, in this industry Irish meat faces stiff competition from US firms.

Industry sources insist the trade will not pick up until the export licence is widened to include mince, which is underpinned by demand from the burger industry.

A spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture described the start to the year as “strong” adding that it comes after improved performance through 2015.

“The department remains engaged with the US authorities to allow for the extension of exports to include manufacturing beef,” she added, Irish producers are keen to see the rules changed to allow the export of Irish minced beef to the US.

The Department of Agriculture has negotiated a deal for Irish beef to be sold into the massive Chinese market, but it has not been given the final green light almost a year after Chinese leaders signaled that they will end the embargo.

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