The Irish food and drink sector put in another robust export performance in 2012 despite an 8% easing in global commodity prices, lower output in some key sectors and an ongoing search for value among consumers.
Trade was helped by continued growth to emerging markets, a more positive exchange rate environment, improving market position in major categories and relatively good prices in the meat sector.
The strongest performers were meat, seafood and to a lesser extent beverages. Lower global dairy prices and reduced milk supplies impacted slightly on dairy exports while prepared foods put in a strong performance despite ongoing competitive pressure.
Looking ahead to 2013, the market environment for Irish food and drink exports looks reasonably good with increased output in some key sectors combined with relatively good global commodity prices anticipated. However, feed and other input cost developments will play a key role in determining the sectors performance.