What way will South American exports go?
The ban on Brazilian beef exports in 2008 had a huge impact on the overall volumes of beef coming from South America into the EU.
In 2008, South American exports to Europe fell by more than 35pc.
However, these have been climbing ever since and are expected to hit pre-ban levels once more by 2015.
Any trade deal between the EU and Mercosur, or a WTO package, is likely to only accelerate this trend.
However, on the plus side for Irish beef farmers, the availability of product from both Argentina and Brazil has tightened considerably.
Argentine exports have fallen by 50pc already this year due to moves by the South American state's government to curb meat exports.
Prices for beef in Brazil have also risen by up to 30pc as a result of tighter supplies and the strengthening Brazil's currency against both the US dollar and euro.