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No-Deal Brexit 'Catastrophic' For Irish Agriculture And Food Exporters

A No-Deal Brexit outcome would be ‘catastrophic’ for Irish agriculture and food export business, according to Meat Industry Ireland (MII).

The group submitted its view on the impact of Brexit on agriculture, food, and fisheries to the Oireachtas Agriculture Committee, and warned that even a more orderly exit of the UK from the EU will present many new challenges for our sector.

The group wrote that Brexit and the outcome of the current negotiations are critical to the Irish economy and especially the rural-based agri-food economy, and therefore it is essential that a hard Brexit is avoided.

Due to Ireland’s geographical proximity and dependence on the UK, it is the most exposed of any of the other EU member states, the report suggests.

Last year, Irish meat export values to the UK was just shy of €2 billion.

Beef accounted for €1.3 billion of this, pigment was €400 million, sheepmeat was €51 million, and poultry was €240 million.

Beef trade to the UK accounted for just over half (51%) of Ireland’s total beef exports. It also accounted for 56% of pigment exports, 24% of sheepmeat, and a commanding 80% of poultry exports.

EU Self-Sufficiency

‘In a ‘hard Brexit’ scenario, the reduction in trade resulting from Brexit will create a surplus of beef and pigmeat, affecting overall EU market price’, the report read.

‘According to the UECBV report, Brexit will reduce the value of EU production of meat and will result in a structural reduction in EU beef market price of over 8% for beef and 7% for pigmeat. The harshest impact would be felt by Irish beef.’

‘EU self-sufficiency in beef will rise dramatically from the current balanced market situation to 116%, leading to a market in crisis. For pigmeat, a major jump in self-sufficiency also occurs.

‘These impacts affect all member states, even those with limited trade with the UK as the resultant surplus chases any available market to the detriment of all market returns.’

© 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. 

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