French boost live exports by 10.5pc
Live exports still represent an important part of the French livestock sector as the country last year exported more than 1.32m head of cattle -- a rise of 10.5pc on the figure for 2008.
The principle destination for French live exports is Italy, and there was a 4pc rise in the level of trade to this market last year, to just over 1m head.
Interestingly, exports of French heifers for finishing in Italy rose by an estimated 20pc to 235,000hd. This made the market more competitive for other suppliers, which is why almost 75pc of Irish live exports to Italy were young bulls.
Incidences of Bluetongue in France dropped dramatically to just 83 cases last year from more than 32,000 in 2008. This success was the result of a vaccination strategy involving 95pc of the national herd, and this enabled free access to markets which had previously imposed restrictions on cattle imports from France.
Increased live exports last year contributed to a 10pc fall in young bull slaughterings. However, there was a 6pc increase in the cull cow kill and, combined with a 5pc fall in calf births, this is likely to lead to tighter beef supplies on several continental EU markets.
French live exports to Spain rose 47pc on 2008 levels, reaching more than 122,000hd. Although exports to Greece dropped to 22,000 cattle, exports to third country markets recorded a three-fold increase to almost 33,000hd.
A steady recovery was seen in shipments of mostly finished cattle to Algeria, Lebanon and Tunisia, with some trade also resuming to Morocco.
Doody a Golden gem to the sector