The latest cattle export data up to and including the week ending May 15, 2022, shows a 20% increase in calf exports to date, and a 13% increase in overall Irish cattle exports, when compared to figures from the same time period last year.

Data from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) shows that just over 136,300 calves have been exported as of May 15, this year. This figure is up by over 23,000 calves from last year’s calf exports in the same time period, which was just under 113,300.

The number of Irish calves exported has increased this year despite a number of difficulties associated with getting calves from Ireland to mainland Europe.

In late-March, a ferry approved to transport livestock from Ireland to mainland Europe entered dry dock and remained there until earlier this month.

A second vessel approved to ferry livestock from Ireland to mainland Europe entered dry dock at the beginning of this month also. This reduced the numbers of calves sailing for this duration, but export numbers remained high despite this.

Live cattle exports by type (up to May 15) 2020-2022:

Adult cattle13,16319,30015,11815%-22%
Source: DAFM

The number of cattle exported to Northern Ireland is back by 44% this year to 19,385 cattle in total. However, the number of cattle being exported north has started to pick up after a slow start to the year.

The supply of factory-fit cattle is expected to tighten significantly in the end of quarter two and for quarter three of this year, which will likely increase the level of northern demand seen at Irish marts for forward and finished-type cattle.