Finished Irish bulls destined for Algeria

A consignment of approximately 600 Irish bulls will be exported to Algeria in the near future, Agriland has learned.

The bulls have been gathered by a Leinster-based exporter and will be the first batch of Irish cattle to be exported to Algeria since health certificates were agreed last year.

Last May, the Department of Agriculture received clearance to allow the live shipment of Irish cattle to Algeria.

Under the veterinary certification procedure, both breeding cattle and male cattle for further feeding or immediate slaughter were granted clearance to be shipped to Algeria.

The bulls will be transported to France, from where they will make the short journey across to Algeria. Agriland also understands that there could be scope for further numbers to be exported under the deal.

It is expected that a further 600 will be exported in the near future – bringing the total under the current deal to 1,200 head.

The Algerian importing company behind the deal has been in Ireland and has seen first-hand the quality of stock available on Irish farms.

It is believed that the Algerian importer, who buys approximately 20,000-25,000 cattle mainly from France each year, is also interested in buying in-calf heifers.

The majority of cattle imported into Algeria come from France and, in total, the country imported 40,000 cattle in 2015 – falling from a high of 100,000 head in 2013.

The number of cattle imported into Algeria has also dropped in recent years, falling from a high of almost 100,000 head in 2013 to an estimated total of less than 40,000 in 2015. This fall can be largely attributed to a drop in the value of oil in recent years, as Algeria is a key player on the world crude oil and petroleum market.

The news will come as a major boost to cattle finishers, many of whom have struggled to break-even this year. It could bring some much-needed competition to the finished cattle market.