Dairy and beef exports could fall by 76% and 53% in hard Brexit
Analysis by Copenhagen Economics has found that in a hard Brexit scenario, Irish beef and dairy exports will be hit hard.

In a hard Brexit scenario, dairy and beef exports could fall 76% and 53%, respectively, below what has been forecast for 2030, a new analysis of the implications of Brexit has found.

The analysis which was prepared by Copenhagen Economics found that Ireland is uniquely exposed to Brexit due to a very high trade intensity with the UK.

It has found that in a World Trade Organisation (WTO) Brexit scenario, Irish beef exports to the UK could fall 53% below what exports have been forecast for 2030. The risk of regulatory divergence is the main factor affecting exports from the beef sector.

In a free trade agreement (FTA) scenario and customs union scenario, where it is assumed that the EU and the UK agree on a traditional customs union agreement, beef exports could fall by as much as 28% and 35%.

The analysis found that production in the sector will also be negatively affected in all scenarios ranging from a decrease of 11% in a European Economic Area (EEA) scenario, where similar levels of trade costs between the EU and the UK as are currently observed between the EU and the EEA-members (Norway and Iceland) to 23% in a WTO scenario compared with where production levels forecast for 2030 would be.

The impact in the customs union and FTA scenarios is a decrease of 12% to 14%.


Meanwhile, in the dairy sector, the analysis found that exports to the UK could fall by between 35% and 76% below the projected level by 2030 if Brexit were not to happen, in the EEA and WTO scenarios.

In the FTA and CU scenarios, dairy exports could fall 37% to 38%. Dairy production could also be effected, with an 18% drop in production in the sector in a hard Brexit scenario.

For the dairy sector, regulatory divergence is the main factor affecting exports.

While raw milk and fresh milk is normally not traded outside the UK, some 600m to 700m litres of milk are imported from Northern Ireland for processing in Ireland each year.

The analysis found that this north-south milk trade may not be commercially viable if tariffs and border costs are imposed.

Analysis of the Copenhagen Economics report to follow

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Weekly weather: welcome rain in the forecast
Rainfall will remain below average in parts of the east and south-east, but elsewhere values more likely to be above normal, according to Met Éireann.

Rain is forecast at various stages throughout the week and temperatures are set to remain in the 20’s across the country.


Met Éireann are forecasting a dry start for the east and south-east on Monday with patchy rain elsewhere producing a few heavy bursts locally. It will dry up in the northwest and patchy rain will move south-eastwards later in the day.


Tuesday is forecast to be a bright and fresh day with some sunny spells and just an isolated shower. Temperatures will reach highs of 16 to 22 degrees.


It will be mainly dry in eastern areas with some sunny spells on Wednesday. In western counties, rain will develop along the coast in the afternoon and will gradually push inland. The rain in the west will become heavy and will then extend eastwards across the country overnight. Highest temperatures 18 to 23 degrees are forecast.


On Thursday, further outbreaks of rain will develop during the morning. A clearance will open in the afternoon with just an isolated shower after this.


Friday is forecast to be a much brighter and fresher day. There will be good sunshine during the morning, but showers will break out in the afternoon.

Farming forecast


Overall rainfall is expected to remain below average over the coming seven days in parts of the east and south-east, but elsewhere values more likely to be above normal.


Temperatures this coming week are expected to be around normal along Atlantic coastal areas. Elsewhere, temperatures are expected to be a degree above average in most areas perhaps up to 2 degrees in the north-east.


There will likely be more cloud around this week and so sunshine amounts will likely remain below normal.

Drying Conditions

There is currently an orange forest fire warning in operation. Drying conditions will be moderate but will reduce poor at times particularly Monday in outbreaks of rain and again along Atlantic coastal counties Wednesday.


Current indications suggest generally good opportunities outside of rain Monday and away from Atlantic coasts Wednesday.

Field Conditions

Soil moisture deficits are very high, ranging from around 30 to 60 mm in Ulster and Connacht, with values elsewhere exceeding 75mm. Little change is expected in the coming week apart from some slight relief in the northwest of the country.

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This week in photos: milking and the harvest continues
Our top photos from the last week include farming in Limerick, Tipperary and Wexford.

This week's front cover: milking in Co Limerick

Eoin Carroll from Ballyvolane, Co Limerick milking cows on the farm of John McNamara in Gormanstown, Co Limrick. Eoin is currently completing the work experience element of his Leaving Cert agricultural sciene project on John's farm. He is working part time on the farm and gaining experience in areas including grassland management, herd health and milking. \ Philip Doyle

Loading cattle in Co Limerick

Paddy Leahy from Kilmallock, Co Limerick transferring his Angus cattle to a trailer, having sold them to Foyle Meats in Donegal. Paddy says its crazy that he has to sell to a factory in Donegal but they are giving him the best price at the moment. Paddy farms Angus, Hereford and continentals. For the last few weeks he has fed them silage and 8kg of meal a day. He says it is a relief to get rid of them due to the drought conditions and the additional costs that that has brought. \ Philip Doyle

My farming week in Co Tipperary

Michael Condon from Newcastle, Co Tipperary delivers zero-grazed grass from Jim O'Leary's farm for feeding. Michael farms with his father and uncle in south Tipperary. The mixed farm is mainly in corn but also rears calves from neighbouring farms. \ Donal O'Leary

Harvesting in Co Wexford

Lester Rothwell harvesting Infinity winter barley in Lacken, Co Wexford. The crop was sown in the first week of October. Lester harvested a separate field of Infinity barley the previous day and got a yield of 3.3t/acre, but was confident that this crop will perform better. \ Philip Doyle

Harvesting in Co Dublin

The Fitzgerald family harvesting in Newpark, north Co Dublin. Cousins James and John are cutting Tower winter barley, along with James' sons Finn and Jack. The crop's moisture is 18.5% with a bushel weight of 67KPH. \ Philip Doyle

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This week in photos: New Ross and Newport Marts

Around the country in pictures

This week in photos: Loughrea Mart and winter barley harvesting