Beef boost: 2,000 forward stores to be exported in the coming weeks

Approximately 2,000 Irish stores will be exported to a non-EU market in the coming weeks, after an agreement was reached with an Irish exporter.

Purcell Brothers, a Waterford-based exporting company, will ship 2,000 forward cattle to a non-EU market; the consignment is expected to depart at the end of July.

AgriLand understands that the contract will require forward bulls weighing over 500kg. All breeds, with the exception of dairy cattle, are required to fill the contract.

This will come as a boost to the Irish beef trade, as exports of forward and finished cattle are essential to provide much-needed competition in the market.

Purcell Brothers has also been heavily involved in exporting Irish cattle to Turkey; the company secured a contract to supply 20,000 cattle to Turkish buyers earlier this year.

The company has already exported approximately 6,000 cattle to market this year and another boat – the Atlantic M – is expected to dock in Co. Waterford next Tuesday.

The vessel, which will be loaded under the supervision of Department of Agriculture vets, is set to carry 3,000 yearling bulls to Turkey for further feeding and finishing.

The Turkish market has grown in importance for Irish suckler farmers since it opened to Irish cattle exports in 2016.

Last year, Viastar shipped more than 19,000 cattle to Turkey. The four shipments included both finished and weanling bulls.

In a separate deal earlier this year, another Irish exporter also sent a consignment of 1,564 Irish heifers to Turkey.

Exports remain in a positive position

The number of cattle shipped from Ireland by live export continues to be positive, figures from the Department of Agriculture show.

In total, some 131,854 cattle have been exported from Ireland this year – an increase of 41,212 head or 45.5% on the corresponding period in 2016.

Finished cattle exports account for approximately 11% of all of the cattle shipped from Ireland this year. And exports of these animals are necessary to provide much-needed competition on the beef market.

Official figures show that approximately 14,200 finished cattle have left Irish shores this year – a jump of 1,982 head or 16.2% on the number exported in 2016.

In addition, increases have also been witnessed in the numbers of weanlings, stores and calves shipped from Irish shores.

Year-on-year export changes (week ending June 17):
  • Weanlings: 12,197 head (+6,343 head or +108.4%);
  • Stores: 9,295 head (+3,787 head +68.8%);
  • Calves: 96,163 head (+29,100 head or +43.4%);
  • Finished: 14,199 head (+1,982 head +16.2%);
  • Total: 131,854 head (+41,212 head or +45.5%).