Calf exports hit an all-time high
Weekly live exports of calves, weanlings and finished cattle have hit record levels.
Close to 15,000hd were exported from Ireland last week, Bord Bia figures confirm.
This was the highest weekly figure for almost 10 years. It was only marginally exceeded by a week in 2000, when two cattle boats took stock to Lebanon.
Joe Burke of Bord Bia pointed out that last week would have been the busiest in 20 years if the week in 2000 was excluded.
For the first 10 weeks of this year, live exports totalled nearly 69,500hd, which represents an increase of almost 75pc on the same period in 2008.
Exports of calves accounted for approximately 55pc of the total to-date. There has been firm demand for Irish calves in Holland, as well as from buyers in Spain and Belgium.
Exports of weanlings and store cattle collectively represent 27pc of the total. Within this, exports of high quality weanlings to Italy have been particularly strong, at over 11,000hd so far.
Forward or finished cattle make up 18pc of the total, with Northern Ireland and Britain the main destinations.