Exports of fresh and frozen pork from Ireland grew by 19% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2016, largely driven by increased shipments to China, according to AHDB pork.
This left the Chinese market second only to the UK in importance to the industry in Ireland, whose Q1 exports totalled 44,600 tonnes.
The growth in shipments to China was 77%, lifting total sales to 10,600. Exports to the UK, meanwhile, increased by 4% to total 14,200 tonnes.
As for import levels, Ireland reported a modest Q1 decrease on the same period a year earlier. This was despite shipment levels from both the UK and Spain rising, by 22% and 49% respectively.
Reduced imports from the Netherlands and Denmark more than covered the UK and Spanish gains, leaving the import total at 9000 tonnes for the quarter, down 4% on 2015.