8 March 2002

Irelands share of UK market is on the up & up

By Andy Collings

IRELANDS biggest market for agricultural machinery is the UK and, says Enterprise Ireland, the trade development body of the Irish government, market share is continuing to grow.

Estimates for exports to the UK for 2001 are for them to be 35% up on the previous year. Figures for 2002 are predicted to rise a further 15-20% on 2001.

Enterprise Ireland recognises a favourable exchange rate has been an important factor in this growth and concedes that, with Ireland now in the Euro-zone, it has yet to be seen how business will be affected. Much will depend on how the k performs, it says.

Mike Moroney, chief executive of the Irish Tractor and Machinery Trade Association believes having several countries with the same currency will result in Irelands machinery industry having greater competition to contend with.

"To continue to export to the UK at the same level we have to be even better," he says. "How the k will ultimately perform is still unknown, industry commentators believe it will take at least a year to stabilise, especially with regard to the value of exports."

lSee p86 for an update on Irelands agricultural machinery industry. &#42