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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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Pigmeat and poultry exports decline in 2021

According to the Export Performance and Prospects, 2021/2022, Bord Bia published morning (Wednesday, January 12th, 2022), the value of pigmeat exports decreased by 3% to €542 million in 2021.

The state agency cited lower pricing in international markets as a key reason for this.

Pigmeat exports 

Export volumes increased by 3% to 248,000 tonnes in 2021, and market developments in Asia and the UK during the year influenced the pattern of trade.

Shipments of Irish pigmeat to Asia accounted for 67% of the total export value at €360 million, a 42% increase on 2020 levels.

Bord Bia highlighted that China is the main market for Irish pigmeat. However, due to a slowdown in demand, other Asian markets such as Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines, drove most of last year’s growth.


Meanwhile, Bord Bia confirmed that primary poultry exports fell by 15% to €128 million during 2021.

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This decline was due primarily to a fall in trade with the UK, Ireland’s major market for poultry.

Also, the value of the poultry trade to the UK declined by 16% to €74 million last year.

Bord Bia acknowledged that this reflects the sector’s high exposure to the foodservice market in the UK, which the pandemic “significantly” disrupted during the year.

Market access restrictions negatively impacted European poultry exporters last year.

The report stated that progress around re-establishing these trading partnerships will be “critical” towards rebuilding export performance.

These developments were also reflected in overall EU poultry exports, which fell by 5% to 2.2 million tonnes in 2021.

The principal markets that reduced import demand from EU suppliers included the Philippines, South Africa, Hong Kong, and the UK.

The value of Irish livestock exports increased by 6% to €214 million last year. Bord Bia stated that increased returns from live cattle exports helped offset lower export values for both pigs and sheep.

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