Irish food and drink exports reach record high of €16.7bn

The value of Ireland’s food, drink and horticulture exports soared by 22pc in 2022 despite ongoing inflationary and supply chain challenges.

xports rose last year to reach a new record high of €16.7bn.

Bord Bia reported that food and drink exports were up by €3bn since 2021 and had also increased by almost 30pc since pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

The state agency attributed the strong growth last year to a combination of rising unit prices due to inflation, as well as an increase in output and a jump in the volume of exported goods.

Categories that recorded growth in 2022 include prepared consumer foods, drinks and Irish beef and dairy, according to the Export Performance report.

Irish dairy exports were valued at almost €7bn, largely driven by Irish butter.

Over 1.7 million tonnes of dairy product were shipped to over 130 global markets.

This was followed by meat and livestock exports of over €4bn, up €520m since 2021. Product prices increased across all different species of meat this year, Bord Bia reported.

Beef exports experienced the highest demand, with exports up 18pc to €2.5bn.

Value added meat and seafood exports soared to over €1bn in 2022, reflecting a 31pc rise compared to the prior year.

Irish drink exports also recorded a strong surge in demand, with exports reaching almost €2bn for the first time.

While the UK market accounted for 32pc of exports, more than one third of food and drink exports were sent to international markets.

EU markets also represented 34pc of exports.

The UK maintained its position as the largest single country market for Irish food and drink exports, with exports valued at around €5.4bn last year. This was up by a fifth despite the post-Brexit trading uncertainty, the state agency said.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine now estimates that total Irish agri-food exports, which also includes non-edible products not included within Bord Bia’s report, were worth €18.7bn across the year.

This marks an increase of 21pc year-on-year.

“Following two years of profound disruption, 2022 brought a new range of cost and sourcing challenges, making this year’s export performance even more impressive,” Bord Bia chief executive Jim O’Toole said.

“Today’s results are testament to the resilience of one of Ireland’s most important export industries.”

He added that 2023 is also likely to be a “year of volatility” due to economic uncertainty.

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