Irish dairy and meat exports continue to grow apace, with the country exporting 300m more dairy products and 200m more meat and livestock products in 2010 than in 2009.

In total, Irish dairy exports mainly butter, cheese and milk powder reached 2.29bn last year, while meat and livestock exports mainly beef, pigmeat and poultry stood at 2.44bn. Seafood also put in a strong performance, with a total ­export value of 370m, up 18% on 2009.

Much of Ireland's meat and dairy exports end up going to the UK. Bord Bia said Irish exports had been helped by high global prices for agricultural commodities as well as reduced exchange rate pressures and the "improved relative competitiveness of Irish manufacturers".

The organisation expects Ireland to put in another strong performance in 2011, driven again largely by growing demand for commodities around the globe.

"In a year in which the world's population will reach seven billion, growth in global demand is set to underpin food markets well into the future, albeit with some volatility," said Bord Bia chief executive Aidan Cotter.

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