French setback for weanling trade
Published 28/10/2015 | 02:30
Exporters have forecast the recent boost to the live trade by the outbreak of Bluetongue disease in France will end with the easing of restrictions there.
Strong export demand for weanlings has been driving the trade at the sales around the country.
The demand for Irish weanlings on the continent has been boosted by the animal movement restrictions in France, following the recent outbreak of Bluetongue.
However the expectations are that trading in France will reopen shortly.
Irish live exporters are now fearful that continental customers will not continue to pay the going Irish prices.
Roscommon based live exporter, Derek Maxwell, said that they have been "very active" over the past three weeks.
"Irish weanlings are still too dear for the price of beef in Europe, but the feeders there who wanted to replace the finished cattle they had sold had no choice but to buy the Irish and that has given a big boost to the trade here," he said.
"I expect that France will be open again very soon without doubt," he said.
Martin McNamara, manager of Clare Marts, reported the overall trade remained strong, with an improved trade in heavier weanling bulls weighing in over 400kg fetching up to €3/kg. Live weanling exports remain 35pc down on last year according to the latest figures.