Farm Ireland

Monday 20 November 2017

Initial Turkish live cattle demand set to focus on heifers

Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

Initial demand from Turkish cattle buyers is expected to focus on continental heifers weighing up to 400kg, according to Joe Burke of Bord Bia.

He says over recent weeks, Bord Bia has undertaken several marketing activities for Irish live cattle.

“A substantial Turkish meat and livestock business, with capacity for 40,000 feeding cattle, travelled to Ireland on a Bord Bia-led itinerary: visiting exporters and farms.

“It is anticipated that Turkish companies will soon be permitted to import animals themselves, outside of the government-owned Meat and Milk Board, ESK,” he said.

Meanwhile, Burke also said that Bord Bia recently met with one of the largest cattle buyers in Algeria, and visited the port of Sète in France, where they were assembling two boatloads of French cattle.

The Algerian market reopened for Irish livestock in late 2016, following a trade mission to the North African region.

Burke says annual imports average approximately 60,000 head, and potential customers have expressed a strong appetite for Irish animals: both young bulls for finishing and dairy breeding stock.

Calf exports

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Calf exports are now gaining momentum, following a slightly later start to the calving season, Burke said.

Up to mid-February, some 1,400 animals had been exported to Spain and just 330 to the Netherlands: Ireland’s principal calf markets, he says.

In 2016, these two countries accounted for 44,000 head and 27,000 head, respectively, of Irish exports.

“Discussions with trade buyers suggest that demand and prices are slightly ahead of last year’s levels.

“Bord Bia advertisements in a popular Dutch publication: De Kalverhouder are currently highlighting the health and quality attributes of Irish calves to veal producers,” he said.

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