The most recent trading figures indicate that Irish fresh and frozen beef exports to China during October reached 860 tonnes, the highest monthly figure on record.
The figures point to a significant jump from the monthly exports up to September in 2019, which averaged about 570 tonnes, according to Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures given in the Dail by Agriculture Minister Michael Creed, in December.
Those figures indicated January to September beef exports to China of 5,138 tonnes, valued at over €23m.
Total beef exports from Ireland for the period were 393,312 tonnes, of €1.7bn in value.
Growth in beef exports to China is likely to continue, following approvals in October of further Irish beef plants by Chinese officials.
The China trade helped to push Irish beef production in October 85% ahead of September, as the industry disruption due to factory blockades subsided. The October production of 61,000 tonnes (177,000 head) included average carcase weights increasing to 344kg.
Compared to October 2018, production was only marginally up (by 1,600 tonnes). Compared to 2018, in the first six months of 2019, 48,600 more cattle were processed.
But since July, 92,700 fewer were processed, mainly due to the factory blockades.
The total Irish beef exports in October 2019, at 33,000 tonnes, were 3% behind the October 2018 level.
The UK remained the largest export destination, taking 41% of the total.