Irish agri-food exports exceeded €13 billion in 2017, an 18% growth on 2016’s figure, with half of the growth seen in new overseas sales from non-EU markets, according to the Irish Independent.
The Independent added that growth in non-EU exports was driven by a six-fold increase in exports to China over the last 6 years. Exports to markets in the rest of Asia almost doubled in growth and trade to the Middle East and Africa rose by 40%.
No More Beef With China
These reports came from a new Bord Bia report ‘Prioritising Markets: Opportunities for Growth’.
The report identified and analysed 15 top growth markets for food and drink exports over the next five to ten years. This includes countries like Australia, Chile, China, Iran and Japan are earmarked for meat exports.
In response to the report, Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed said that "despite all of these successes, we must, in light of Brexit, intensify our efforts further and diversify into as many international markets as we can".
Minister Creed has only recently returned from a trade mission to China where he, and a large delegation of Irish food industry representatives, where he said he had a series of “incredibly productive meetings with excellent results” with regard to establishing trade routes to China for Irish beef and dairy exports.
Ireland was the first country to begin exporting beef to China, opening up a market of 1.5 billion people and helping to offset the uncertainties arising from Brexit.
Other Export Markets
The Prioritising Markets: Opportunities for Growth report also highlighted that exports in cereals, beverages, Irish whiskey all saw strong growth in exports to non-EU markets - the latter being the fastest-growing spirit in the world.
However, Bord Bia highlighted that Irish whiskey is not without its potential difficulties. Due to President Trump’s protectionist measures to include levies on imported spirits in North America, a market which saw a 17.4% increase in Irish whiskey exports, could greatly hinder potential growth.
Minister Creed added, “The report provides insights to help Irish companies identify potential leads, better understand the needs and requirements of overseas customers and understand the mechanics of doing business in the market.”
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.