China second largest export market for Irish dairy: Bord Bia
In its report, Export Performance and Prospects Report Irish Food, Drink and Horticulture 2014/15, Bord Bia detailed a 3% increase in the value of Irish dairy product and ingredient exports from €2.968bn (US$3.5bn) in 2013 to an estimated €3.055bn (US$3.6bn) last year.
Irish dairy exports to Asia in 2014, which totalled approximately €530m (US$625m), were driven by China, which accounted for two-thirds of the region's total.
China is now the second largest export market for Irish dairy exports, accounting for around 11% of the €3.055bn reported.
Demand for Irish infant formula from China appears to have played a large role. Exports of infant formula from the Republic of Ireland to China in 2014 doubled in volume, Bord Bia reported.
Alongside infant formula, cheese, casein, skimmed milk powder (SMP), and milk proteins were among the "strongest performing categories" in 2014, it said.
UK and Europe
With shipments worth approximately €1bn (US$1.2bn), neighbouring Great Britain remained the largest single export market for Irish dairy products and ingredients, accounting for an estimated 32%.
This is, however, down from 37% in 2013.
Bord Bia has attributed the decrease to a fall in British demand for Irish butter and infant formula that "more than offset" a rise in cheese.
Irish dairy shipment to other EU markets were, meanwhile, "largely unchanged" in 2014.
At €840m (US$990m), mainland Europe accounted for an estimated 28% of all Irish dairy exports - mirroring results reported by Bord Bia this time last year.
The value of exports to markets outside the EU meanwhile increased by around 20%.
International markets, as these markets are referred to in the Bord Bia report, now account for around 40% of all Irish dairy exports.
"Asia led the way with a 30% growth in exports to account for 17% of total dairy exports," said the report.
"Higher trade was recorded to Russia, despite the market closing in August, while the Middle East, Africa and North America all reported increased trade."
To read the full report, click here.
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