Irish dairy exports perform well in 2021

Exports exceeded €5 million for third consecutive year
calendar icon 13 January 2022
clock icon 2 minute read

According to a report by Bord Bia, Ireland's state agency that promotes sales of Irish food, Irish dairy exports performed well in 2021. The value of exports exceeding €5 billion for the third successive year.

Strong market returns were seen in all categories, including butter, cheese and powders. Strong demand in North America and Africa countered the dampening effect of softer demand for specialised infant nutrition products in Asia, said the report.

Diversification, said the state agency, continued to pay dividends last year. Ireland exported dairy products to 147 markets during 2021 and for the first time, trade to countries other than the EU and the UK accounted for more than 50% of total exports.

Worth more than €1 billion per annum, cheese exports increased by 15%. According to Bord Bia, customers in the UK and the EU, as well as in Africa, are willing to pay higher prices for Irish cheese.

Irish butter exports also increased in 2021, climbing 3% over last year and reaching €997 million. Exports to the UK declined, however, but EU demand was good. Exports to the US continue to grow.

Finally, Bord Bia's report highlighted reduced demand for imported finished and base powders to Asia for the specialised infant nutrition sector. The state agency did say that this decline was offset by strong performance in ingredients for manufacturing to Asia, particularly China, as well as increased exports of traditional dairy products. 

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