First Turkey, then Libya. Could Algeria be next to open for Irish cattle?
The recent Trade Mission to Algeria helped to raise the profile of Irish livestock amongst the Algerian buyers, according to Claudia Saumell Bord Bia’s Africa Manager.
Algeria, whose live animal imports oscillate between 40,000 to 50,000 animals per year and have predominantly, being sourcing from France and Spain, found in Ireland a new potential partner for their livestock demands, she says.
“Algerian Business mentality of immediate profits prompts the livestock sector to opt for 500kgs animals for a few months of fattening and slaughter.
“Heifer importations represent a smaller section of the market and are linked to private dairy farm projects that in most of the cases are long-term investments,” Saumell says.
In general terms Livestock business in Algeria is run by 4 to 5 large importers, each of them importing from 6,000 to 10,000 animals per year and the rest of the market is shared between smaller importers with a maximum annual trade of 1,200 animals.
“These large importers have farms with capacity of holding 1.400 animals, and their current trade dynamic is to import from 800 to 1.200 animals on each monthly shipment.”
According to Scumell, transport is a major challenge that Irish exporters will have to overcome and it seems that the vessel option is the preferred way of transportation for the Algerians as it would allow some more competitiveness when maximizing the transportation costs.
“The trucks option on the other hand is still a viable option but it would raise the price that could potentially put the Irish cattle beyond the prices offered by French suppliers.