Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Ceisteanna (969)

James Browne


969. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his plans to increase beef and lamb exports to Iran; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12952/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

Total Irish agri-food exports to Iran in 2017 were around €11.5 million according to the CSO, the majority of which (€10.25 million) was accounted for by dairy exports.

A veterinary health certificate for the export of beef from Ireland to Iran was agreed in March 2013 and for sheepmeat in October 2016. According to the CSO, 26 tonnes of beef were exported to Iran in 2017, but there have been no sheepmeat exports to date.

Limited or no exports to Iran can be explained by a combination of unfavourable trading conditions, cheaper supplies of beef from Brazil and of lamb from Australia to the Iranian market, and financial barriers. Work is on-going within the EU to devise measures to overcome financial barriers to trade between the EU and Iran.

The role of my Department is to open up markets for the industry and it is then up to the industry, with the support of my Department and Bord Bia, to avail of these opportunities. However, the actual levels of exports will depend on a range of factors, including global supply and demand dynamics, currency fluctuations and individual customer requirements.