Irish beef exports are facing a challenging 2017, as the continued impact of Brexit hits home and an increased supply of beef comes on the market.

Approximately €570m was wiped off the value of Irish food and drink exports last year due to the fall in the value of sterling following the UK's Brexit vote, according to Bord Bia.

The agency has launched its Export Review and Prospects Report and warned that exports markets for Irish food and drink will continue to be challenging this year and that prepared food exports to Britain will remain under pressure.

It said that the underlying weakness and volatility of sterling negatively affected the competitiveness of Irish exports, reducing the value in trade by a potential €570m.

The main sectors which were hit were dairy, beef and beverage exports and Irish companies had beef affected to take various degrees.

"Most categories, with the exception of seafood, were back in terms of exports to the UK in 2016," it said.

It comes as cattle finishers were estimated to have had net losses last year and the supply of beef across Europe is predicted to increase in 2017.

Bord Bia estimates that finished cattle supplies will increase "significantly" in 2017, as the impact of an increase of 133,000 calf registrations in 2015 is felt.

The volume of cattle coming through Irish meat processors in 2017 is predicted to increase by up to 6pc, and Bord Bia chairman Michael Carey said that would present challenges, but work was continuing to increase market access to new countries.

However, he said the UK will continue to account for around 50pc of Irish beef exports.

Mr Carey said that beef exports face a challenging 2017, at the announcement of Bord Bia's Export Performance and Prospects.

"The increase in cattle supplies at home will present challenges. There is no point in saying anything else."

He said Irish food and drink exports were facing challenges in the UK market before Brexit. "It's very difficult for anyone to be definitive on the exact figure."

The volume of cattle coming through Irish meat processors in 2017 is predicted to increase by 6pc and Mr Carey said that would present challenges, but work was continuing to increase market access to new countries.

However, he said the UK will continue to account for around 50pc of Irish beef exports.

Meat and livestock accounts for 33pc of total Irish food and drink exports. Within that, beef exports are worth in the region of €2.38bn.