Irish Economy: According
to new figures released today by Bord Bia, the value of Irish food and drink
exports in 2012 surpassed €9bn for the first time up from €8.88bn in 2011 -- an
increase of 1.6% to €9.02bn. The value of total exports in 2011 was €164bn and
discounted at 40% for the tax strategies of multinational companies, would give
a net total of €100bn.
The State agency says "this builds upon, and
consolidates, the food industry's exceptionally strong performance over the past
three years, with exports currently valued at €2bn, or 28%, ahead of 2009
levels. The strongest performing categories were meat and livestock (€3bn),
seafood (€493m) and beverages (€1.26bn)."
Bord Bia did downplayed the comparison with
2011 and the 3-year comparison included a commodity price boom and some
retrenchment in 2012 - - spin is endemic!!.
The weakening of the euro relative to sterling
helped boost trade to the UK, where the value of exports increased by 5% (€170m)
to reach €3.8bn, representing 42% of total Irish food and drink exports in
Ongoing weakness in many economies across the
Eurozone combined with more favourable exchange rates with both sterling and the
US dollar impacted on trade levels to other EU markets in 2012. For the year
exports are estimated to have fallen by 8%. However, following growth of 20% in
2011, Irish food and drink exports to International markets put in another
strong performance during 2012 with trade estimated to have increased by 8%, or
almost €200m, to exceed €2.4bn. As a result, the region now accounts for 27% of
total exports. The growth in exports was led by Asia, Africa and North America.
The combined value of meat and livestock exports
increased by 4% or almost €130m to reach almost €3bn. This equates to a third of
food and drink exports and shows growth running at twice that of total exports.
A combination of stronger prices in some categories, most notably beef and
pigmeat, helped offset lower finished cattle supplies.
The value of beef exports is estimated to have
increased by 2% despite a drop of 11% in output. As a result, exports were
valued at €1.9bn helped by a 13% rise in average cattle prices.
The Irish beverage sector put in another strong
performance in 2012 as ongoing growth in whiskey, combined with a stable
performance by cream liqueurs and beer, increased exports by 3% in 2012 to reach
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