Irish beef exports to Egypt are due to resume this week after a five-year break due to concerns about the problem of BSE in Europe, according to the Sunday Business Post newspaper.

Egypt stopped buying Irish beef in 2000 because of the BSE crisis, but has been relaxing its restrictions in recent years due to safety controls introduced as a result of the crisis.

Despite the relaxation, little Irish produce has been sent to Egypt until this week, when a shipment of 700 tonnes is expected to mark the formal resumption of trade.

Beef exports to Egypt were worth more than €200m (US$242m) annually at their peak in the late 1990s.