'We need to be realistic about US market' warns Minister Coveney
People need to "be realistic" about the prospects for Irish beef in the US, Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney has said.
Mr Coveney told the Farming Independent that he was in the US three weeks ago and that volumes had increased tenfold since July with at least €2.5m worth of beef exported to the region. But he said that people "can't expect overnight massive trade with one country".
"You have to understand here that when Irish companies get very good prices in the UK, well then that is where the majority of beef is going to go, and because sterling is so strong versus the euro we are seeing strong pricing in the UK for beef and that's been the big focus for our industry this year," he said.
Mr Coveney said they would be selling "significant" volumes into the US and China markets. "The market effectively only started operating in July, so people need to be realistic here," he said. "You'll get a steady build up now in terms of relationships and buying, and while the US is paying good prices I think you'll see a steady increase in the flow of beef there."