The value of food and drink exports increased by 8.6% in the first six months of this year, according to Bord Bia.

This follows the most successful year ever for food and drinks exports last year, when they topped €9 billion for the first time.

Bord Bia said exports of beef in the first six months of this year were 15% (€140 million) higher than in the first six months of last year.

Growth in beef exports was made up of volume growth of almost 10% and price growth of 5%.

The higher volume of exports was expected and followed a low volume in 2012. 

Bord Bia said this trend is set to continue through this year and into next year.