Calf exports fall 13.5% during the first four months of 2016 – Bord Bia

The live exports of calves dropped during the first four months of the year, according to Bord Bia.

Calf exports dropped by 13.5% between January 1 and April 30, 2016 compared to the corresponding time in 2015.

Since the beginning of the year, there have been 53,125 calves exported from Ireland, down 8,289 head on the same time in 2015.

However, despite the decline in calf exports. Irish calf births are continuing to rise.

According to the ICBF, calf registrations have increased by almost 2% or 27,982 head so far this year, while dairy calf births have jumped by 5.8% or 59,216 head.

Source: Bord Bia
Source: Bord Bia

Calf export destinations

According to Bord Bia, the majority of cattle exported to both Spain and the Netherlands are calves and these two countries are the main export destination for Irish dairy bull calves.

Most of these calves are sold into the veal market.

During the first four months of the year, the number of cattle exported to Spain increased by 12.6% on the same time in 2015, Bord Bia figures show.

Irish cattle exports to Spain stood at 19,376 head between January 1 and April 30, this is 2,435 head higher than the same time in 2015.

In January, Bord Bia’s Cecilia Ruiz said that 2016 would be a good year for Irish calf exports to Spain.

She said that Spain is growing its beef production and demand is expected to focus on good quality Friesian bull calves, along with beef-crosses coming from the dairy herd.

However, the number of cattle shipped to the Netherlands so far this year has declined, the majority of these exports are calves.

Figures from Bord Bia show that cattle exports to Holland are down 29.3% this year on the same time last year, with numbers falling by almost 10,000 head to the week ending April 30.