Thursday, 11 July 2019

Questions (725)

Brendan Smith

Question:

725. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the quantity of beef products exported to the United States of America in each of the years 2016 to 2018; the expected export level for 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31247/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

My officials continue to work towards opening and enhancing access to as many markets as possible. This is a key part of our response to the challenges and uncertainty posed by Brexit, and in line with the market development theme of the Food Wise 2025 strategy.

Ireland was the first EU Member State to secure market access to the US in January 2015, following the lifting of its 15 year ban on beef exports from the EU due to BSE in March 2014.  Following this, Ireland was the first EU country to export beef to the US.  Subsequently, in July 2016, my Department received approval to send BIFG (Beef Intended for Grinding) to the US.

Export data for beef products exported to the United States of America in each of the years 2016 to 2018 are listed in the table - these figures have been sourced from Central Statistics Office (CSO) trade data.

Quantity of Beef Exported to United States

Year

Tonnes

2016

1,772

2017

1,571

2018

2,135

According to CSO trade statistics, Ireland exported approximately 1,322 tonnes to USA in the period January to April this year, exactly double the quantity exported in the same period in 2018. This represents a very positive start to the year and I hope that this growth trend will continue throughout 2019.

The role of my Department is to open up and maintain market access and where possible to remove barriers to trade; industry must then take advantage of these opportunities. The actual levels of exports will depend on a range of factors, including as global supply and demand dynamics, currency fluctuations and individual customer requirements.