The Irish food industry has made stringent efforts to reach markets outside the EU.
The shift in market destination was demonstrated by increases in the value of exports to Asia to reach €850 million (+45 per cent), as well as significant increases to North America (€740 million, +18 per cent), the Middle East (€330 million, +11 per cent) and Africa (€610 million, +9 per cent).
Within this, exports to China recorded a further increase of almost 40 per cent to reach approximately €520 million. China is now Ireland’s second largest export market for dairy, while it was 13th in 2008.
The UK remains Ireland’s most significant export market, but its share of exports eased slightly though the value showed little change at €4.2 billion or 40 per cent of export share. Stronger export values for beverages, prepared foods, mushrooms and poultry helped offset lower beef and dairy values.
The value of exports to other EU destinations grew by 2 per cent to reach €3.3 billion equating to 31 per cent of total exports reflecting largely static consumer price inflation across the Eurozone.