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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
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 has imported just under 190,000t of beef in last 5 years

Irish beef imports rose to 51,665t in 2022, an increase of 16,994 tonnes – or 49% – on the previous year’s 34,671t, data from the Central Statistics Office shows.

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, recently presented the data to the Dáil in response to a parliamentary question raised by Fine Gael Mayo-based TD, Alan Dillon.

Dillon asked the minister to confirm the exact quantity of imported beef that has entered the Irish market in recent times.

The minister provided CSO-sourced data on Irish beef imports for 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022, for the months of January to December inclusive, as follows:

  • 2018 – 43,437t;
  • 2019 – 30,213t;
  • 2020 – 29,921t;
  • 2021 – 34,671t;
  • 2022 – 51,665t.

In total, Ireland has imported 189,907 tonnes of beef over the past five years alone.

2022 reported the highs amount of the five-year period, with 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic began, recording the lowest beef imports.

When providing the data, Minister McConalogue remarked: “As the deputy will be aware, the nature of all commodity markets is that prices fluctuate and international trade flows are a two-way process.”

“As the Irish beef sector is highly export oriented, its success is dependent on the maintenance of an open, rules-based multilateral trading system.”

“The latest CSO trade data for first quarter of the year shows that beef imports amounted to 12% of Irish beef exports in volume terms but only 6 percent in value terms,” he added.

Beef imports in 2023

As reported by last week, Ireland imported over 14,119 tonnes of beef during the first three months of 2023, trade data from the CSO (Central Statistics Office) shows.

This represents an increase of 5,164 tonnes (58%) on the corresponding period – January, February, and March – in 2022.

During the same window in 2021, the country imported 6,395t of beef, while this figure stood at 7,869t during this period in 2020 and 7,506t in 2019.

The top five countries from which beef was imported into Ireland over the first quarter were:

  • The United Kingdom (12,920 tonnes);
  • Spain (511 tonnes);
  • Netherlands (150 tonnes);
  • Denmark (147 tonnes);
  • Germany (100 tonnes).

Read more on this news article.

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