Written Answers. - Export Refunds.

Joe Walsh

Question:

253 Mr. J. Walsh asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry the value of export refunds to Ireland in 1994; the amount by which export refunds were reduced in 1995 on cattle, meat and dairy products; the dates on which they were reduced during this period; and his views on whether this reduction is only a temporary measure and will have no effect on cattle prices. [2068/96]

The statistical data which the Deputy requested is set out in the following tabular statements.

With regard to the beef and live cattle sector, the commission considered that taking account of the GATT ceiling of 1,119 million tonnes on subsidised exports from the EU in the 1995-96 GATT year, the level of export licence applications in the first half of the year was excessive and the cuts in export refunds were made in an effort to achieve a more orderly flow of applications. These cuts have only had a limited impact on cattle prices to date because our beef exporters have been operating from licences which were prefixed at the higher refund rates. This position should not immediately change as these higher rates prefixations are in adequate supply to cover normal exports until the end of February. An increase in refunds — or equivalent action — is urgently required in order to prevent cattle prices from falling when these prefixations are used up and I will continue to press our case on this with the commission until it is achieved.

Export Refunds Paid 1994

£IR million

Beef

319

Cattle

125

Dairy

96

Total

540

Live Cattle

Beef

Date of Change

% Change

% Change

8-9-95

-5.0

Nil

21-9-95

Nil

-3.4

14-10-95

-7.6

-5.1

11-11-95

-7.6

-5.1

18-11-95

-25.3

-25.1

13-12-95

+13.8

+13.5

Milk and Milk Products

Date of Change

Product

% Change

13-1-95

Whole Milk PowderAll other Milk Products

-5-3

26-1-95

ButterWhole Milk Powder

-3.35-1.65

27-1-95

Butteroil

-3

8-2-95

Butter

-5

14-2-95

Butter

-7

12-5-95

Whole Milk PowderSkim Milk Powder

-5-3

30-5-95

Processed CheeseWhole Milk Powder

-5-3

7-7-95

S.M.P.Whole Milk PowderCheese (non-Processed i.e. Cheddar, Emmental)

-3-5-3

28-7-95

Skim Milk PowderProcessed Cheese

-10-3

25-8-95

Processed Cheese

-12.5

8-12-95

Skim Milk Powder Processed Cheese

-10