Agri-food exporters are bracing themselves for a 30pc shipping cost increase on over €600m of food sales as a group of deep sea shipping lines plan to implement dramatic price rises, according to the Irish Exporters Association (IEA).
A small number of deep sea shipping companies handle all of Ireland's sea exports. Maersk Line alone handle up to 40pc of Irish agri-food and fish exports to non EU countries, and have notified their Irish customers that they will apply a €1,140 increase per container from January 1.
This equates to a 30pc increase on the current rates for a 40 feet refrigerated container to Asia, and a 50pc increase in rates to Africa.
IEA chief executive, John Whelan, claimed that the hike would add 10pc to food exporters' costs.
Non-EU countries account for €200m of meat exports, €330m of dairy sales and also €86m of fish on an annual basis.
Donegal Mart boycott over
Further boycotts of Donegal town's mart were averted following a clear-out of many long-standing committee members.
The mart was boycotted last Friday following the failure of a no-confidence vote at EGM last Tuesday.
The split in the committee appears to have its roots in its handling of redevelop-ment proposals during the boom and the issuing of shares to relatives of deceased shareholders.
Five of the 14-person committee have resigned over the last week, leaving a number of posts including secretary, treasurer and vice-chairman to be filled in elections expected to take place in early 2013.
The co-op owned mart sells approximately 35,000 sheep and 10,000 cattle per year.