Trump victory poses more 'uncertainty' for food sector
Published 15/11/2016 | 14:45
Donald Trump's victory in the US presidential election has added "another layer of uncertainty" to an already troubled trading landscape for Irish food and drink exporters, industry representatives have warned.
Paul Kelly of Food and Drink Industry Ireland (FDII), the Ibec group that represents the food and drink sector, said Trump's election had unsettled markets.
Kelly said the continuing volatility in sterling posed new and very serious challenges for food exporters.
He maintained that sterling's repositioning relative to other currencies was now "structural" rather than "cyclical".
This contention was supported by Mark Berrisford-Smith, head of economics at leading British bank HSBC, who predicted in Belfast last week that the British pound could move to parity with the euro.
Kelly said such a scenario would be disastrous for the Irish economy given the UK takes 41pc of the country's exports. The food sector would be particularly exposed, since Britain imports 70pc of our processed consumer foods, 56pc of meat exports and 60pc of cheese.
An FDII report on Brexit found that if sterling was to hold at the 90p mark, it would cost food exporters over €700m and result in the loss of 7,500 jobs.
"A structural shift in the exchange rate relationship, combined with Brexit related trade risks, means that UK buyers are planning significant supply chain restructuring - the real threat is a loss of confidence in Ireland as a competitive supply base resulting in loss of markets and exports," Kelly said.