There is some well-needed good news on the live export front, with a number of shippers actively sourcing stock to fill contracts for various markets.

An exporter – Purcell Brothers – is actively sourcing bulls for the Libyan market. The Waterford-based company is purchasing Friesian bulls – weighing 200-300kg – to fill a 2,500 head contract.

The company is also sourcing heavier coloured bulls – weighing around the 500kg mark – for the same contract.

Live export figures

According to Bord Bia figures, the number of Irish cattle exported live to Libya so far in 2019 stands at 4,211 head. Exporters have noted that there is a demand for Irish cattle in Libya, but political and currency issues have stood in the way of Irish exporters.

On another note, the number of dairy calves shipped to European countries has increased on 2018 levels. Up until August 10, 2019, some 187,391 calves have left Irish shores – a 25.6% increase when compared to 2018.

Live exports are vital to both the Irish beef and dairy industries, and their importance was once again highlighted at beef industry talks held in recent weeks. This news will be welcomed by all farmers and will hopefully create some much needed competition at the ringside.