Irish food and drink exports in 2011 are expected to reach
record of €8.9bn - - an increase of more than 12%, or almost €1bn, on 2010 levels
and boosted by global commodity boom.
Ireland’s food exports in 2011
are some 25% ahead of 2009 levels, which fell by 15% compared with 2008. Meanwhile, against
a backdrop of strong global demand and high prices, eight out of ten exporters
surveyed by Bord Bia rate their prospects as improved or very improved compared
with this time last year.
The food and drinks total of €8.9bn, would be less than 6% of total export value in 2011.
The forecast and survey findings were issued today by
Bord Bia on the opening day of the 80th National Ploughing
Championships taking place in Athy, Co. Kildare.
All major categories are expected to show growth this year,
led by dairy and meat, which combined account for more than 60% of total food
and drink exports. Strong global prices are driving export growth, with the FAO
food price index 26% ahead of this time last year, however increased volumes of
dairy products, pigmeat, whiskey, cider, confectionery, sauces/soups and
mushrooms are also boosting revenues. It is estimated volume growth across these
categories will account for up to 30% of the total.
“As world supplies struggle to keep pace with the growth
in global demand, the outlook for food exporters for the remainder of the year
and into 2012 remains positive” according to Aidan Cotter, chief executive, Bord Bia. “The latest surge in world food prices is further evidence that
the era of cheap food is at an end, yet while forecasts point to a longer term
upward trend, the conditions for volatility in prices remain in the form of
weather-related events, fluctuating stock levels, exchange rates and market
Nevertheless, the context for the achievement of the ambitious
Food Harvest 2020 targets, including 50% export growth, has rarely looked more