US tariffs: impact on Ireland

impact on ireland

While we’re on the topic of EU/US dairy tariffs, Rabobank compiled a report on the potential impact and they concluded that Ireland would be the biggest losers in a trade war. In 2018 the US imported a total of 230,000 tons of EU dairy product and in contrast the EU only imported less than 23,000 tons of US dairy so the trade gap is clear. Ireland had the biggest share of exports at 25% followed by France at 21%, Italy 12% and Spain 8%.

Ireland has enjoyed great success in the US market in recent years with Kerrygold butter now the second highest selling brand in the whole country. Irish butter exports increased by 90% in 2018 alone and this is even more impressive in light of the fact that Irish butter sells at around double the price of domestic US brands. However if US tariffs are implemented at the mooted 100% figure this will double the price again and it is hard to see sales maintaining existing growth if priced at four times more than US brands! EU dairy commands a premium and is highly popular with consumers who view it as better quality but there is a limit to how much people will pay so it will be interesting to see how this pans out.

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