Irish exports continue to grow in H1 2016
Irish exports continued to grow into the first half of 2016, up 20% on the year earlier, to 96.1 thousand tonnes.
Just under 30% of this total was destined for the UK market. Ireland also exports significant amounts of processed products to the UK, with 8.6 thousand tonnes of bacon, and 4.9 thousand tonnes of sausages being shipped to the UK during the first six months of 2016. Pork shipments to the UK grew by 6% on the year earlier, while exports to China more than doubled, echoing the macro-economic trend that is being observed by the majority of major pork producers around the globe. Trade with Germany, largely made up of sow carcases as in the UK, was back 18%.
The increased export level has been assisted by a 5% rise in Irish production in H1 2016, on the same period a year earlier. However, the latest census figures released in December 2015 showed that the breeding herd was back 5%. Therefore, there may be an assumption that production increases have been affected by an increase in productivity and average carcase weights. With the exchange rate becoming less favourable since the Brexit vote, and the gap narrowing between the Irish and the UK pig price, it may reduce the volume of Irish pig meat on the UK market. Although this is only likely to have a modest effect, it may further support the increasing domestic price.
Vikki Campbell, Senior Analyst
Vikki.Campbell@ahdb.org.uk, 024 7647 8741