1,800 bulls to load for Turkey

Approximately 1,800 bulls, destined for Turkish shores, will be loaded either today or tomorrow, AgriLand understands. The consignment of bulls, weighing 400-800kg, will leave Greenore Port, Co. Louth, once loaded.

A contract is understood to have been agreed between Viastar – the Meath-based exporter – and private Turkish buyers.

AgriLand has also learned that there are plans for further boats – possibly one per month – to leave Irish shores bound for Turkey. This will be welcome news, as live exports are extremely important for the Irish beef industry going forward.

The Turkish market

The Turkish market has proved particularly important to the Irish beef industry over recent years. Since the first contract was granted, over 51,700 cattle have been exported to Turkey.

With additional cattle supplies predicted in 2018, this market – particularly for store cattle – will prove vital in maintaining competition.

What’s more, the latest shipment is set to bring the total number of cattle exported from Ireland to Turkey to over 3,600 head this year. Earlier this year, another Irish exporter shipped 1,876 head – 1,331 weanlings and 545 stores – to the market.


Exports in a positive position

Up to the week ending February 17, some 13,042 cattle were exported from Ireland – up 12.7% or 1,469 head on the corresponding period in 2017.

Weanling, store and calf exports are all in a positive position. An additional 859 weanlings have been exported from Ireland this year, store shipments are up by 186 head and calf exports have climbed by 1,676 head or 29.7%.

Export growth has also been witnessed in Spain and the Netherlands – two of the main markets for Irish calves – up by 36.6% (925 head) and 19.2% (685 head) respectively.

However, cattle movements to Northern Ireland – a valuable market for finished heifers in previous years – are back by 41.4% or 1,225 head when compared to the corresponding period in 2017.

Irish live cattle exports:
  • Weanlings: 1,607 head (+859 head or +53.5%);
  • Stores: 1,122 head (+186 head or +16.6%);
  • Calves: 5,643 head (+1,676 head or +29.7%);
  • Finished cattle: 3,201 head (-1,252 head or -39.1%);
  • Total: 11,573 head (+1,469 head or +12.7%).