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The value of Irish food and drink exports rose by 8.6% in the first six months of this year to reach €4.7bn, reports The Irish Times. Exports of Irish beef saw “especially striking growth”, up 10% in volume and 5 % in price, according to Aidan Cotter, chief executive of Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board. Cotter said that while the horsemeat scandal had significantly depressed demand for processed beef products such as burgers, it had boosted the trade in high quality beef. Prime Irish cattle are now fetching significantly higher prices than the EU average. Exports of prepared foods also grew 15% while dairy and drink each rose by 4% and pigmeat exports grew 9%. The UK remains Ireland’s primary trade partner, taking 41% of the country’s food and drink exports, but sales to Asia have also risen by 15% to reach €270m.