11,000 less Irish cattle exported to Northern Ireland this year

The number of cattle exported from the Republic to Northern Ireland has dropped considerably this year, figures from Bord Bia show.

To the week ending June 4, Irish live cattle exports to Northern Ireland declined by just over 11,000 head or 46.3% compared to the same time last year.

In 2015, northern Irish buyers bought 24,471 cattle from the Republic of Ireland and so far this year 13,147 cattle have been exported across the border to the north.

This fall in live cattle exports to Northern Ireland shows that there has been no real recovery in live cattle exports, as exports were down 41.2% this year to the week ending June 7.

According to the ICSA’s Eddie Punch, the fall in live cattle exports to the north will result in an increase in the number of cattle slaughtered in Ireland this year.

The ICSA General Sectary also said that the relatively close beef price between Northern Ireland and Ireland was one of the main reasons for the fall in cattle shipments to the north.

He also said that uncertainty caused by a potential Brexit has also impacted on the trade, as it has caused Sterling to weaken.

And a weaker Sterling makes Irish cattle more expensive to buy from a Northern Irish importers point of view.

Punch also said that the Irish beef industry needs to have as many live export destinations as possible.

This is important, he said, as the number of cattle slaughtered in Irish is expected to increase later this year.

We need a wide range of live export markets, Northern Ireland is just one, there is also potential for Irish live cattle exports to the UK.

Punch also called on the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed to make live cattle exports his main priority in 2016.