Irish agri-food exports to China worth €100m, but beef exports only worth €432,000
Irish agri-food exports to China are currently worth almost €100m, but beef exports for the first eight months of 2018 were only worth €432,000, new figures show.
The Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, recently detailed the level of Irish agri-food exports to China, and said he is "reasonably" happy with the level of beef exports to date.
According to the Central Statistics Office (CSO) by the end of August 2018, Irish beef exports to China were 260t or €432,000.
China lifted its ban on Irish beef in 2015, but it was only in April of this year that the first shipments of Irish beef went to China, the first European country to gain access to the huge market.
Larry Goodman's ABP group was the first Irish processor to sign a deal to export, when it signed €50m deal to supply Chinese restaurant chain Wowprime in what is a significant first for the sector.
Last week, Minister Creed said he was "reasonably pleased" with thelevel of exports given that the trade only commenced during the summer.
"It indicates that Irish beef companies are beginning to gain a foothold in the Chinese market."
Earlier this year, processors and Mr Creed were reluctant to set a firm figure on the potential value of lucrative contracts to the region. Mr Creed insisted he was "not going to put a figure on how much Ireland will export to China".