Brexit wipes €570m off value of Irish food exports in 2016
Approximately €570m was wiped off the value of Irish food and drink exports last year due to the fall in the value of Sterling following the UK’s Brexit vote.
That’s according to Bord Bia which launched its Export Review and Prospects Report today warning that exports markets for Irish food and drink will continue to be challenging this year and that prepared food exports to the Britain will remain under pressure.
It said that the underlying weakness and volatility of sterling negatively affected the competitiveness of Irish exports, reducing the value in trade by a potential €570m.
The main sectors which were hit were dairy, beef and beverage exports and Irish companies had beef affected to take various degrees. "Most categories with the exception of seafood were back in terms of exports to the UK in 2016."
Bord Bia Chairman Michael Carey said that export trade figures are not down by €570m, but he said Irish food and drink exports were facing challenges in the UK market before Brexit.
"It's very difficult for anyone to be definitive on the exact figure."
However, he also said that Irish beef exports will face increasing challenges in 2017. Meat and livestock accounts for 33pc of total Irish food and drink exports and within that beef exports are worth in the region of €2.38 billion.
The volume of cattle coming through Irish meat processors in 2017 is predicted to increase by 6pc and Michael Carey said that would present challenges, but work was continuing to increase market access to new countries. However, he said the UK will continue to account for around 50pc of Irish beef exports.