18pc fall in beef exports to France as sales drop
Irish beef exports to France fell by 18pc in the opening four months of the year, Bord Bia has reported.
A significant lift in the French cattle kill and lower consumption were blamed for the fall-off in exports to Ireland's second-biggest market.
A severe drought in France has resulted in a sharp increase in cattle disposals, as farmers struggle to keep grass and feed ahead of stock.
Recent statistics reveal a 7.7pc lift in French beef production for the first four months of the year to almost 465,000t.
According to Joe Burke, of Bord Bia, there has been an increase in all slaughter categories in France for this period, with young bull numbers 6.2pc higher, while the cow kill rose by 6.7pc.
Another consequence of the feed scarcity was that live cattle exports also increased by 7.5pc.
"This reflects higher numbers of young animals sold along with reduced demand from domestic buyers," Mr Burke said.
Average prices received for U grade Charolais and Limousin weanling bulls are running almost €0.20/kg behind last year's levels, at €2.45/kg liveweight.