January 16, 2023


Ireland's pigmeat, poultry prices support overall export values in 2022




Higher average prices for Ireland's pigmeat and poultry helped to offset the impact of lower production levels on overall export values last year, according to Bord Bia.


The state agency's Export Performance and Prospects Report 2022/2023, published on January 11, revealed that the value of Irish agri-food exports increased by 22% to a record €16.7 billion in 2022.


The value of Irish meat and livestock exports grew by 15% last year to over €4 billion.


However, rising feed, fertiliser and energy costs posed a significant challenge in 2022 for intensive pig and poultry enterprises, along with grass-based cattle and sheep farming systems.


Irish pigmeat export values grew by 2% on 2021 levels to €540 million, as higher prices offset a reduction in export volumes.


However, the Bord Bia report noted that pig farmers were hit with "unprecedented production costs" that impacted their viability for much of 2022.


Data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) shows that Irish pigmeat production was up by almost 5% in the first half of 2022, but this had fallen to 1% by the end of September, reflecting the impact of high input costs on farmers.


"This drop off in producer confidence was illustrated by the increase in sow supplies at pigmeat export plants, which increased by around 8% for the first nine months of the year," Bord Bia stated.


The volume of Irish pigmeat exports fell marginally to 228,000 tonnes in 2022.


A tightening of supplies across Europe in the second half of the year saw pig prices rise sharply.


The Irish pig price increased by almost 28% during the second half of 2022 to reach €2/kg. For the year as a whole, Irish pig prices increased by approximately 14% to €1.77/kg.


The value of Irish pigmeat exports to the European Union increased by 23% to €100 million last year, while there was a 3% rise in exports to the UK market which was worth €95 million.


Pigmeat shipments to China, which is a key export destination, fell by 31% to €130 million last year, as the country's domestic production continues to recover from African swine fever (ASF).


This decline was offset by strong growth in Australia, the Philippines, the United States and South Korea.


The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is forecasting that global pigmeat production will increase by 1% in 2023 to 111 million tonnes, reflecting further recovery in Chinese output.


The report said that EU farmer sentiment will be heavily influenced by feed cost volatility driven by the ongoing war in Ukraine.


Meanwhile, the report showed that Irish poultry export values increased by 14% to €143 million during 2022, with volumes up 3% at 78,000 tonnes.


The value of Irish poultry exports to the EU rose by 31% to €30 million, while trade with the UK increased by 19% to €85 million, reflecting a strong recovery in the foodservice channel.


Exports to international markets were 7% lower at almost €31 million due to ongoing restrictions in South Africa.


Bord Bia said that the ongoing threat of avian influenza has been extremely challenging for the global poultry industry, disrupting trade and supply.


The impact of high production costs hit the Irish poultry sector with throughput levels falling by 5% to 80 million head for the first nine months of 2022, compared to the previous year.


The decline continued into the final quarter of the year due to ongoing disease risk, high feed costs and trade restrictions.


The report noted that "stronger pricing helped to offset lower export volumes".


Bord Bia has forecast that the global poultry industry will recover further in 2023; however. high feed and energy costs are likely to persist.


"A weaker economic climate will lead to more price-driven consumer behaviour, which supports poultry consumption," the report stated.


- Agriland

Video >

Follow Us