Cattle exports to Turkey could be trebled claim IFA
Support measures on age and weight restrictions needed to drive trade
Ireland could export 100,000 cattle a year to Turkey if the market was more aggressively targeted, the IFA has claimed.
Turkish cattle buyers took around 30,000 head from Ireland in 2017 but the IFA’s livestock chairman, Angus Woods, said there was real potential to grow this figure significantly.
“IFA and Bord Bia visited this market and there is no doubt there is major potential for Irish live exports. Turkish feeders, which we met, were very complementary of the quality of stock from Ireland,” Mr Woods said.
While Bord Bia has suggested that export levels of 50,000 head were achievable this year, Mr Woods claimed that Ireland should be aiming to sell up to 100,000 head into the market in the future.
Mr Woods pointed out that Turkey imports 500,000 cattle each year, with around 200,000 supplied from Europe, and 300,000 head from South America.
He said Ireland had the potential to deliver far greater cattle numbers to Turkey, given the correct “support and encouragement”.
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.
However, Mr Woods claimed the correct identification of stock for the market during the second half of the year could help overcome these drawbacks.