Ireland exported a record high of 215 million euros (US$239 million) worth of pork to China in 2021, a year-on-year rise of 8 percent. That represented 40 percent of its pork exports.
Conor O'Sullivan, China manager of Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board, said 2021 was of great significance to the Irish meat industry at a recent Irish meat seminar in Shanghai. He added that thanks to the positive bilateral trade relationship between China and Ireland, Irish meat is recognized by more Chinese consumers, and the demand for safe, high-quality food from the Chinese market is increasing every year.
A new trade deal between China and Ireland was struck last September, and Irish lamb is expected to enter the Chinese market this year.
According to O'Sullivan, the value of Ireland's food, drink and horticulture exports increased by 4 percent to a record of 13.5 billion euros last year in spite of COVID-19 and Brexit's effect on trading.
About 34 percent of Ireland's food and drink exports went to international markets outside the EU and the UK, 33 percent went to the EU and 32 percent to the UK. Its exports to Asia exceeded 500 million euros for the first time.
With strong demand and higher prices in the UK and EU markets, Ireland's beef exports increased by 9 percent in 2021, totaling 2.1 billion euros. Meanwhile, Ireland's poultry exports decreased by 15 percent.
Ireland plans to introduce its lamb to Chinese market.