Next cattle shipment to Turkey could top this week's 3,500-head load

Largest shipment of live cattle from Ireland in years

The loading of Cattle at Greenore Port on Wednesday 19th October 2016. Picture: Thos Caffrey / Newsfile
The loading of Cattle at Greenore Port on Wednesday 19th October 2016. Picture: Thos Caffrey / Newsfile
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

Yesterday saw the largest shipment of live cattle from the Ireland in years, as over 3,500 head of cattle leave Waterford Port for Turkey.

This the second shipment of cattle to Turkey this year after a boat load of 1,900 cattle were exported in late September.

Demand for Irish cattle in Turkey appears strong at the moment and some commentators are suggesting that as many as 25,000 weanlings could be exported to the market before Christmas.

According to exporter Pat Flaherty of, who is involved in the sourcing of cattle for the Turkish contract, the assembling of the stock has gone ‘smoothly’ so far.

The shipment leaving Ireland this week consists of Charolais, Limousin, Simmental, Angus and Hereford cattle under 12 months of age and less than 350kg.

According to Flaherty, the stock is most likely destined for feedlots in Turkey for further finishing.

Flaherty also said that he expects similar scale shipments to take place right up to Christmas.

“The next load is set to be even bigger,” he said and said it might take as much as three days just to load the boat.

Get the latest news from the Farming Independent team 3 times a week.

Flaherty said there were no issues in sourcing the cattle, with ample supplies both privately and in cattle marts around the country. He said that the price being paid for stock by exporters varied hugely, depending on the quality of cattle.

IFA National Livestock Chairman Angus Woods has described the shipments as a very positive development for livestock farmers.

“It is very positive to see ships moving and the benefits being returned to cattle farmers in marts all across the country.

The IFA Livestock leader said the live export trade is essential for competition in the livestock sector and was never needed more at this time of low beef prices and rising cattle numbers.

Woods said Turkey is a major live export market and a great opportunity for the Irish livestock sector. Turkey has an import requirement for 400,000 head of live cattle annually.

In 2015, Turkey imported 380,000 head of cattle from Europe and South America. “Turkey is a high volume destination, capable of paying good prices.”

He said IFA is lobbying hard for additional ships to be cleared to add to the capacity of the trade and this is expected to happen.

Online Editors

For Stories Like This and More
Download the Free Farming Independent App