The shortage of cattle for slaughter will not continue indefinitely, Bord Bia's Joe Burke has warned.
Live exports of cattle from Ireland have fallen 40pc to 160,521hd so far this year, compared to the same period 12 months ago, and we are unlikely to see a dramatic recovery in overall live exports, he claimed.
The number of calves exported is down 43pc, while exports of weanlings and stores, when taken together, are 39pc lower. Similarly, exports of finished cattle have fallen by 34pc.
Live cattle exporters have sold fewer animals to each of their major markets in comparison with last year.
Live exports to Holland were back 44pc, to Belgium 17pc, Italy 30pc, and Spain and Northern Ireland 50pc.
The slower live export trade is a result of the higher prices being paid for stock by domestic beef producers, effectively pricing exporters out of the market.
Lower live exports mean more cattle in the country for slaughter in the next 12-24 months, which is likely to adversely impact on beef prices.