Irish beef sales to China have bounced back from last year’s temporary ban on exports, with shipments to the giant Asian market doubling this year compared to 2023.

Exports to China topped 2,500t between January and March, compared to almost 1,300t for same period in 2023.

Despite the improvement, however, China accounted for just 2% of total beef exports during the first quarter of the year, with sales to Britain and the EU dwarfing those to the Far East.

The 58,000t sold to Britain between January and March, accounted for 47% of total Irish beef exports for the period.

A temporary ban on Irish beef exports to China was imposed in November 2023 after an atypical case of BSE was found in a 10-year-old cow. However, the market reopened in mid-January.