France remains Ireland’s top sheepmeat export destination, accounting for one-third of the market.
Great Britain, Germany, Sweden and Belgium are the next “most important” destinations.
That is according to Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, who confirmed that Ireland exported sheepmeat worth approximately €356m or €64,100 tonnes last year.
This is up 12% in value and 3.5% in volume on the previous year’s level.
The minister revealed this information in response to a parliamentary question from Fine Gael’s Bernard Durkan.
He asked the minister about the department’s future prospects for the Irish lamb sector with particular reference to market penetration.
Commenting on sheep prices, Minister McConalogue said:
“The outlook for Irish and EU lamb prices for 2021/2022 is stable, with global sheep meat prices projected to remain good.”
“Irish lamb prices are forecast to increase by 7% on 2020. Currently, the year-to-date average price is €6.93/kg, which is a 33% increase on the previous year.”
“Teagasc forecast that the average sheep farm income is to increase by 6% in 2021, following a 24% increase in 2020.
The FAO expects global sheepmeat prices in real terms to remain high over the next decade.
The minister said contractions in flocks would reduce global supply and restrict trade from Australia and New Zealand.
“Consumption is expected to remain relatively stable to 2030. Securing market access and diversifying trade remains a key aim for my department.”
“I was pleased last week with the announcement that the US ban on sheepmeat exports from the EU has been lifted.”
“My officials will now engage with US authorities on the next steps to full access and ensure that Irish sheepmeat exports to this valuable market will commence as soon as possible.”
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