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John Whelan: Ireland may be losing its grip on selling food into China

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The economy of China grew rapidly in the first quarter of this year, as the huge economy recovered from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. This provided a much-needed boost to exporting companies in many countries.

Traders in Ireland showed little sign of benefiting from this rapid growth; exports into China climbed 36% in the EU, despite long-running concerns about the treatment of Uighur Muslims there.

US exports in the early months of the year appear to have grown significantly. The US and China have put aside their trade war issues, with US exports in the first quarter climbing to €140bn.

Ireland’s exports to China fell sharply in the first two months of the year. To control epidemics and support the domestic beef industry, the government of China has tightened import regulations. Only countries included on its eligible list can export beef to China.