August 25, 2015


Ireland falls short of annual quota for beef exports despite lifting of US ban



The historic lifting of a US import ban on Irish beef finally happened in 2015 after years of apprehension following the mad cow disease outbreak in Europe during the 90s.


But with just 31 tonnes of the meat entering the States since then, farmers and meat factories are concerned especially when permit, granted to prime cuts, has excluded other items such as minced meat and burgers. Irish beef exports are also affected by Russia's suspension of EU imports and France's trade disputes.


The slow performance of the Irish-US beef trade is reflected in the US$222,502 amount achieved for annual exports, falling short of the US$114.7 million expected.


These developments had prompted a call for full access to US beef markets, the Irish Examiner reported.


"There was great fanfare when the announcement was made in January, but the follow-up has to be done," said IFA president Eddie Downey. He urged Simon Coveney, Ireland's minister for agriculture, to act on removing "technical obstacles" that have kept exports from venturing into new markets. The move could also help to relive "increased cattle numbers for 2017" and prevent a reoccurrence of "severe beef prices and income problems" seen in 2014.


According to Downey, the latest Beef Forum meeting had emphasised a step-up of efforts to get more beef facilities approved for export to the US.


Furthermore, Ireland is losing a competitive advantage to New Zealand and Australia which are enjoying better access to the US and China's beef import markets, Paul Finnerty, the chief executive of ABP, warned.

Video >

Follow Us