Despite the difficult market environment for some meats in 2015, most notably pigmeat, the value of meat and livestock exports grew by 2% to over €3.7 billion. This equates to over 32% of total food and drink exports. The value of overall beef exports grew by 6% reaching €2.41 billion. The volume of beef available for export stood at around 510,000 tonnes while average prices rose by around 11%. Following a reduction in supplies in 2015, forecasts are pointing to a significant recovery in supply in the short term particularly from autumn onwards. However consumer demand is relatively steady across the EU but much will depend on supply issues, competitiveness and currency fluctuations in our key export markets.
There were increased pigmeat volumes by over 9% which offset a drop in average prices, leaving the value of Irish pigmeat exports almost 2% higher in 2015 at an estimated €590m.