• 40% increase in Irish exports in last four years 
  • Europe remains key market in terms of export destinations
  • Irish exports to China reached $530m in last three years
Irish exports have seen a record-breaking increase in 2013

Irish exports have seen a record-breaking increase in 2013

Irish food and drink exports are set to hit a record EUR10bn (US$13bn) according to new figures released by Bord Bia.

This represents an increase of 9% on the previous year and 40% in the last four years with revenues almost $4bn higher than in 2009.

Export values for dairy products and ingredients were at an all time high, exceeding $4bn and meat, livestock and prepared foods also performed strongly.

In what he called a "challenging year", minister for agriculture, food and the marine, Simon Coveney said the results were impressive and proved there was "little doubt that the $16bn export target set out in the industry-led strategy for the agri-sector Food Harvest 2020 is well in sight."

Europe remained a key market in terms of export destinations. The UK was the largest with 42% of exports worth an estimated $5.5bn in 2013, followed by other EU markets at an increase of 11%. Internationally, exports to China grew over 40% with values trebling over the last three years to reach $530m in 2013. China is now Ireland's sixth largest market overall, driven in particular by strong dairy and pork exports.

Bord Bia chairman, Michael Carey, said "The significant export growth achieved by the Irish food and drink industry, in the face of an increasingly competitive environment for exporters confirms the dedication, ambition and resilience that is abundant in the sector.

This impressive growth in exports by our largest indigenous industry reflects its persistent focus on innovation and differentiation as it seeks, successfully, to boost its position across key markets."