Exports of food and live animals in January 2016 increased by €52m (+8%) to €705m when compared January 2015, the latest CSO figures show.

The beef sector performed well with meat and meat preparations exports up from €234m in January 2015 to €265m in January 2016.

Beef exports in 2015 were valued at €2.4 billion, an increase of 6% on 2014, Bord Bia figures show.

It wasn’t as positive in the dairy sector, where exports were down to €94m from €98m in January 2016. Dairy exports in 2015 also increased 4% to €3.24 billion, according to Bord Bia.

Cereals exports for January were back €3m to €31m on the year previous. Fruit and vegetable exports were increased in value from €20m to €23m on January 2015.

The EU accounted for €5.0 billion (56%) of total goods exports in January 2016 of which €1.4 billion went to Belgium and €985m to Britain.

According to CSO figures, the USA was the main non-EU destination accounting for €2.2 billion (25%) of total exports in January 2016.

Meanwhile, looking at the CSO import figures for meat and meat preparations, the value of imports was back €1m to €72m on January 2015.

Dairy imports were also down year-on-year. In January 2016 they stood at €55m compared to €60m in January last year.

Cereal imports for January 2016 were back on the corresponding month last year. CSO figures show that cereal imports were back to €80m from €84m.

The EU accounted for 62% of the value of goods imports to Ireland in January 2016, with €1.1 billion (25%) of total imports coming from Britain.

The USA with €519m (11%) and China with €315m (7%) were the main non-EU sources of imports.