Live export optimism: Turkish market ‘should reopen soon’

Hopes have been voiced by the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) that the Turkish live export market will reopen soon, with optimism for strong buying for live cattle later this year.

Commenting on the matter, IFA National Livestock Committee chairman Angus Woods said this is essential for the suckler sector and weanling sales in the second half of the year.

Turkish movements

Last week, the IFA facilitated Turkish live cattle importers visiting farms, marts, exporters and having meetings with the Department of Agriculture and Bord Bia.

In addition, the Department of Agriculture held high-level technical discussions with the Turkish Meat and Milk Board.

Woods said some Irish exporters are in Turkey this week, adding:

Turkish importers and Irish exporters are both strongly of the view that the trade should reopen again later this year.

“This is positive news for the weanling and cattle trade as live exports are essential for price competition and providing additional market outlets.”

Two weeks ago, a successful shipment of young bulls was sent to Turkey and both sellers and buyers were satisfied, according to the organisation.

“It is hoped further shipments with the same people involved will take place again very soon. This importer already has licences to import live cattle,” Woods said.

Opportunities

In 2018, 30,562 weanlings and stores, mainly young bulls, were exported to Turkey and the trade was a key component in keeping a price under the weanling trade all year, according to the IFA.

Woods said the live export demand in Turkey is strong, with the country importing over 500,000 head on an annual basis.

He said there is major potential for Irish exports, with the high quality and high health status of Irish cattle “well recognised” by Turkish farmers and importers.