Irish beef with a value of just under €597,000 was exported to mainland China in January 2024, the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office show.

Some 165t of Irish beef was exported at a price of €3,616/t. All of the beef was frozen boneless beef.


Irish beef was temporarily banned from China in November 2023 after an atypical case of BSE was identified in a 10-year-old cow. The market reopened in mid-January this year.

The move to reopen the market to Irish beef was announced following a meeting in Dublin between Chinese premier Li Qiang and Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue and Minister of State Martin Heydon.

Previously Irish beef had been locked out of China between May 2020 and January 2023 for the same reason.

As of the end of August 2023, CSO data shows that 2,693t of Irish beef had been sent to China. This was valued at just over €16m.


China’s beef imports peaked in 2023 and it imported 2.737m tonnes. This was an increase of 47,000t on 2022.

Brazil supplied almost half of the total volumes of beef at 1.2m tonnes.