Cattle exports to Northern Ireland behind previous years

Cattle exports to Northern Ireland for further breeding and production on are behind their usual seasonal peak, figures from the Livestock and Meat Commission says.

Cattle exports to Northern Ireland tend to peak in the autumn months, the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) reports, as the grazing season comes to an end and the suckled calf sales commence.

And October 2014 has been no exception to this trend with 1,305 male weanlings and store cattle imported into Northern Ireland from the Republic, compared to 663 head during September 2014.

However while imports have shown a seasonal increase in autumn 2014 the level of cattle exports from the Republic remains well below previous years.

In October 2013, 2,181 male weanlings and store cattle were imported into Northern Ireland from the Republic. This was 876 head lower than the previous year and accounted for a 40% decline.

Meanwhile, imports of male store cattle from the Republic during October 2014 were 58% lower than the corresponding month in 2012 with 1,832 fewer cattle imported.

Imports of male store cattle from the Republic, for further keep on Northern farms during 2014, to date have totalled 5,150 head. This is 29% lower than the 7,219 head imported in the corresponding period in 2013 and 51% lower than the 10,462 head imported in the corresponding period in 2014.

With the drop in the level of imports from the Republic to Northern Ireland the number of Republic of Ireland-origin cattle on Northern Irish farms has recorded a decline. In October 2012 there were 19,732 Republic of Ireland origin under 30 months of age cattle on Northern farms intended for beef production. By October 2014 this declined to 10,614 head, accounting for a 46% decline over the period.

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