Sterling slump costing farmers millions per week
The slide in the value of sterling is costing the Irish agri-food sector millions per week, farming leaders have warned.
After a week that saw sterling weaken to 93p against the euro, the IFA says that jobs will be lost and low-margin growers heavily dependent on the UK market could go to the wall.
IFA economist Rowena Dwyer estimates the impact of weak sterling is about 15c/kg for beef exports.
"This is a loss to beef farmers of close to €2m per week. Farmers cannot keep going at current loss-making prices," she warned.
"The last time we saw this level of sterling weakness was in 2009. In the midst of domestic and international economic collapse, farm incomes fell by 30pc, averaging €12,000 that year."
Employers' organisation IBEC has demanded "urgent action" on the exchange rate situation.
"Failure to do so will severely damage our exports, result in substantial job losses and weaken our trading position in the post-Brexit environment," said IBEC food and drink director Paul Kelly.
IBEC says 88p to the euro is the tipping point for food and drink exports to the UK, which were worth €4.1bn last year. However, the decline has accelerated in recent weeks. The body warned a sustained period at 90p could hit food exports by €700m.