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Irish Lamb Exports Focus on High Value Returns

25 February 2013
BordBia

IRELAND - Exports of Irish sheep meat registered a solid performance in 2012 where total value rose by seven per cent to €205 million, according to Declan Fennell from the Meat Division of Bord Bia – Irish Food Board.

Just over 42,000 tonnes, a 12 per cent increase on the previous year, were exported to over 24 individual markets across the globe in 2012. France and the UK continue to be our core export markets representing three quarters of our volume exports.

Strong increases in shipments were recorded to Belgium, Germany and Sweden as exporters continue to secure new business and grow volume with existing customers.

With almost three quarters of our production destined for the export market, Bord Bia together with the Irish processing industry have focused on diversifying into more value-added sales to customers right across EU markets.

Steady progress has been made over the last decade as a growing proportion of Irish sheepmeat exports have moved away from the traditional carcass trade towards the higher value boneless/break out product.

In 2002 Ireland exported €160 million of sheepmeat product, equivalent to 47,000 tonnes.

Almost 80 per cent of these exports were shipped in a carcass form, the balance of 10,000 tonnes was exporterd as a boneless, higher value product. Since then the value of our sheep meat exports have risen by 30 per cent to €205m.

A significant factor which has driven this value growth has been the move towards boneless product. Last year 23,000 tonnes, or 54 per cent of our total sheepmeat exports were shipped as as boneless/break out product.

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