Irish beef producers will lose between €50m and €60m from 12 EU trade deals, according to an impact assessment published by the EU this week.
This is because the influx of beef to the EU market will be much greater than the increase in EU beef exports. Most of the extra imports will come from the Mercosur trade deal, which still hasn’t been approved by the EU institutions.
It will also require approval by the Irish Government.
The EU impact assessment predicts that the extra beef imports will mean a hit to EU beef prices of 2.4%.
Applying this to the annual Irish cattle kill, that would mean a loss to Irish farmers somewhere between €50m and €60m.
Sheep farmers would also lose out, with prices hit by as much as 3.1%, but overall across the EU agriculture in general gains from the trade deals because of opportunities in dairy, pigmeat, wheat, wine and processed foods.