Ceisteanna—Questions Oral Answers - Food Imports.

Wednesday, 2 February 1983

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 339 No. 7

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2.

Mr. J. O'Leary: Information on John O'Leary  Zoom on John O'Leary  asked the Taoiseach the precentage increase in the cost of importing food over the past three years; and if he will give an approximate breakdown of the food items involved.

Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach (Mr. Barrett,: Information on Nuala Fennell  Zoom on Nuala Fennell  Dún Laoghaire): Imports of food for human consumption were valued at £318 million in 1979, £425 million in 1980, £523 million in 1981 and £523 million in 1982. The percentage changes over the preceding year were 33.7 per cent in 1980, 23.1 per cent in 1981 with virtually no overall change in 1982. The total change over the three years was 64.4 per cent.

I propose to circulate in the Official Report a statement giving a breakdown into the broad categories involved.

Following is the statement:

[737][738]Division 1979 1980 1981 1982 Change 1979-82
£ million £ million £ million £ million £ million %
01 Meat and Meat Preparations 12.6 24.6 43.6 40.3 27.7 220
02 Dairy Products and Birds Eggs 14.9 24.2 41.6 31.1 16.2 109
03 Fish, Crustaceans and Molluscs and preparations thereof 12.7 16.7 21.9 25.4 12.7 100
04 Cereals and Cereal Preparations 90.6 126.4 156.5 129.5 38.9 43
05 Vegetables and Fruit 77.7 100.1 123.6 149.0 71.3 92
06 Sugar, Sugar Preparations and Honey (excluding Molasses) 25.0 35.9 34.3 36.1 11.1 44
07 Coffee, Tea, Cocoa, spices and manufactures thereof 58.6 69.9 68.8 76.6 18.0 31
09 Miscellaneous edible products and preparations 25.8 27.3 32.9 34.8 9.0 35
Total 317.9 425.1 523.2 522.7 204.8 64

Mr. J. O'Leary: Information on John O'Leary  Zoom on John O'Leary  Will the Minister say what the percentage of the total food import is in relation to by-products of milk and beef?

Mr. Barrett: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  (Dún Laoghaire): In 1979 the figure for dairy products including birds eggs was £14.9 million; in 1980, £24.2 million; in 1981 £41.6 million and in 1982, £31.1 million. The change from 1979 to 1982 was £16.2 million, 109 per cent.

Mr. Kelly: Information on John M. Kelly  Zoom on John M. Kelly  Would the Minister's figure not suggest, with the exception of the last year, that although the value of food imports has increased there was a decline in volume over the last two years?

Mr. Barrett: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  (Dun Laoghaire): The question only asked for the percentage increase in the cost of imports but I will get that information for the Deputy.


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