Archive: Irish shift dairy export focus

Published 29 January 15

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The volume of Irish dairy exports destined for EU nations reduced during last year while exports to countries outside the EU increased, suggesting a shift in export focus. The shift appears to be well underway for SMP, with its exports to non-EU countries increasing by 10,400 tonnes (63%) in January to November 2014 compared to the same period in 2013. The proportions of Irish butter and cheese that leave the EU are much smaller but growing. In the same period, butter exports to non-EU nations rose by around 3,100 tonnes (58%) and cheese increased by 5,100 tonnes (24%).

As part of this the UK has seen a decline in Irish imports, with butter falling by around 7,560 tonnes (23%) in January to October 2014 compared to the same months the previous year. Irish Cheddar imports also reduced (falling 12%) over the same period, but were partly offset by a rise in speciality cheese, resulting in an overall 3% fall in the volume of cheese entering the UK from Ireland.

Ireland’s current trend towards non-EU markets is likely to continue as Irish processors have been investing in butter and powder facilities over recent years, although this trend will largely depend on the rate of growth in Irish production and future buyer demand.

Irish trade 29Jan15