beef carcasses at Dunbia factory© Rex Shutterstock

Imports of beef into the UK from Ireland have dropped 10% since the Brexit vote, according to official figures.

Data collected by HMRC highlights the impact that changes in the exchange rate have had on the level of beef imports from Ireland since 23 June.

The figures show that Irish imports had been running at similar levels to 2015 until the end of June, when the EU referendum vote result prompted a fall in the value of sterling.

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This drop made Irish beef look less attractive to buyers, reducing volumes coming into the UK.

During September 2016, 14,356t of beef came in from Ireland, compared with 16,499 during September 2015 – a 13% drop year on year.

Total imports from Ireland across July, August and September were 47,726t in 2015, compared with 42,853t in 2016. This is a fall of just over 10%.

AHDB Beef and Lamb said the fall in volumes was despite lower domestic prices in Ireland on the back of higher production.

“It would appear that the exchange rate situation has shielded UK producers from the increasing Irish beef production,” it said.

Between January and September 2016 the UK imported 129,739t of beef from Ireland, compared with 135,532t between January and September 2015.