Calf exports jump over 400% during the first two months of 2016 – Bord Bia
There has been a huge increase in the number of calves exported from Ireland by live-export means during the first two months of the year, figures from Bord Bia show.
Calf exports have increased by more than 400% between the start of 2016 and the week ending February 27, it shows.
Overall, there have been 9,721 calves exported from Ireland during the first two months of the year.
Bord Bia figures show that Irish live-calf exports have increased by 7,425 head during the months of January and February 2016, on the same time last year.
However, despite the increase in calf exports, there has also been an increase in the number of calves registered so far this year.
ICBF data shows that calf births are up 26,758 head on last year’s levels, with dairy calf births increasing by 41,053 head, it shows.
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 two months of the year, the number of cattle exported to Spain increased by 331% on the same time in 2015, Bord Bia figures show.
Irish cattle exports to Spain stood at 5,075 head between January 1 and February 27, this is 3,840 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.
There has also been an rise in the number of cattle exported from Ireland to the Netherlands, the majority these exports are calves.
Figures from Bord Bia show that cattle exports to Holland are up 380% this year on the same time last with, with numbers increasing by 2,728 head between January 1 and February 27.