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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnanehttps://www.thatsfarming.com/
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Ireland exported €2.1b worth of beef in 2021

According to the Export Performance and Prospects, 2021/2022, Bord Bia published morning (Wednesday, January 12th, 2022), meat and livestock exports increased by 4% to €3.5 billion in 2021.

The state agency views this as a “strong” performance given the challenges of the year in question.

Below the top-line growth, individual sectors experienced differing market trends, with strong demand and higher prices in beef and sheepmeat, and a weaker market for poultry and pigmeat. Meat and livestock exports rose by 7% compared to 2019.

The report outlined that beef exports increased in value by 9% and were worth €2.1 billion during the year.

“This growth was underpinned by sustained strong demand and higher prices in the UK and EU markets. After a slow start in the first quarter, Irish exporters were able to work their way through the new trading realities with the UK, and volumes increased.”

“The price environment was positive, due to a tightness of supply in the UK and also in key EU markets.”

Furthermore, the easing of Covid-19-related restrictions, particularly on the foodservice sector in the second half of the year, helped generate “strong” demand.

Ireland’s export values grew, despite an 11% year-on-year reduction in export volume. The strongest growth was to EU destinations, which had a reduction in domestic beef availability.


The report outlined that tighter global and EU supplies of sheepmeat, combined with stronger demand, helped generate an “extremely positive” market for Irish sheepmeat in 2021.

The value of sheepmeat exports increased strongly for the second year in a row, rising by 15% to €420 million.

This strong value growth came despite a 9% drop in export volumes. Bord Bia highlighted that Irish exporters benefited from reduced sheepmeat exports from the UK into the EU and a decline in EU production.

“The reduced availability of imported sheepmeat in the EU market had a positive impact on the demand and opportunities for Irish sheepmeat,” a spokesperson said.

“Lower export capacity in New Zealand, due to reduced production levels and a redirection of its product away from the EU meant there was less New Zealand lamb available in our key export markets,” they concluded.

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