Irish food and drink exports are on the increase, , according to new figures released by Bord Bia today. They have increased by 40% over the last four years and 9% in the last year alone. The UK remains our biggest export market, with 42% of our exports reaching their shores, worth an estimated €4.2 billion in 2013. Exports of food and drink to other EU markets increased by 11% in 2013 reaching €3.2 billion with the key markets of Germany, France and the Netherlands all recording double digit growth. Strong exports to Asia, and to a lesser extent Russia, contributed positively toward an increase of 6% in the value of trade to international markets, which exceeded €2.6 billion in the period. Asia is a growing market for us, with exports to China increasing by 40% in 2013. In the last three years values to China have trebled to reach over €390 million in 2013. It is now Ireland’s sixth largest market overall, driven in particular by strong dairy and pork exports.