Live exports to Turkey on track for 50,000 hd
Irish exports to Turkey could top 50,000hd this year, according to industry commentators.
While Turkish buyers took around 30,000hd in 2017, industry sources claimed there is potential to grow this number substantially.
Agriculture Minister Michael Creed visits Turkey tomorrow with a delegation that includes the country's main cattle exporters and Bord Bia.
The Irish party is to attend the 13th International Agriculture and Livestock Exhibition in Izmir, where they are scheduled to meet the Turkish Minister for Food, Agriculture and Livestock, Mr Ahmet Fakibaba, and local livestock importers.
Although contracts for cattle exports have not been agreed for 2018, Joe Burke of Bord Bia said the market could possibly take 50,000hd.
"Not long ago we were exporting 70,000 weanlings to Italy, so it should be possible to do 50,000hd to Turkey, as long as we are organised," Mr Burke said. He pointed out that the bulk of the Irish stock were shipped in the back end of last year, and the delivery of suitable cattle earlier in the year will be crucial to growing numbers for the Turkish market.
The tight specifications for the Turkish contracts - the cattle must be under 12 months of age and less than 300kg - seriously limited the number of suitable stock last year.