Irish exporters bid for Turkish tender for live cattle

At least one Irish live exporter is understood to have bid for the Turkish live import tender for EU cattle.

Further, it is also believed that separate Irish exporters are set to join forces with European colleagues in a different bid for the tender.

Details of the outcome of the tender process remain unclear though, with most exporters reporting a high level of complexity in the proposed deal. However, it is understood that the current tender requires cattle to be shipped to Turkey in September.

It is also understood that potential suppliers of the cattle are required to provide security on the tender and it is believed that this could amount to a sum of as high as €1.5m.

Transport is also a major cost for live exporters due to the scale and nature of the potential deal.

Chartering a boat from Ireland to Turkey is not cheap with some reports putting the cost of such a move in the region of €800,000. It is also understood that 25% of this payment is required to be paid up front.

There is also the added problem of the location of suitable vessels at present many of which are believed to be in the Southern Hemisphere. However, it is understood the Department of Agriculture has given a commitment to fly to any part of the world to approve a boat to transport cattle.

The prospects of Irish live cattle exports commencing to Turkey moved closer in recent weeks, with the announcement of the tender for 50,000 head of live cattle from the EU.

The tender, which closed to bids on Monday, was announced by the Turkish Meat and Milk Board.

According to the specifications of tender seen by Agriland, the cattle are to be delivered in five batches – each one with 10,000 head with a delivery time of not more than 50 days stipulated.

The tender also stipulates that the cattle to be imported must be be under 12 months old and between 160 and 300kg liveweight. In terms of breeds, the cattle imported from EU countries must be Limousin or Charolais or crossbreeds of both. Cattle are also subject to a 21-day quarantine in Ireland.