Northern buyers continue to be active at marts nationwide with live exports across the border up 44% since the start of the year when compared to 12 months ago.

In the last week in March alone, live cattle exports to Northern Ireland were up over 93% compared to the same week last year. Over the week some 1,560 cattle were exported across the border compared to 808 during the same week in 2014.

In total almost 15,000 head of cattle have been exported to Northern Ireland so far this year, compared to just over 10,000 for the same period in 2014.

Bord Bia have noted that the biggest recent factor in the development of sales of live cattle has been the €/Sterling exchange rate which stood at as low as .71p/€ late in recent weeks, while in 2014 the rate ranged between .78 p/€ and .84 p/€ and in 2013 between .81 p/€ and .87 p/€.

This means that Irish cattle represent better value now than in 2014 and this has created more interest from Northern buyers for all categories of cattle but especially for weanlings and store cattle.


Bord Bia

Total live exports down

Despite the significant increases in exports to Northern Ireland the Bord Bia figures also show that live cattle exports in general are down 14% this year compared to 2014.

So far this year over 68,000 cattle have been exported live from Ireland, down over 11,000 head from the almost 80,000 head this time last year.

The biggest reductions have been seen in exports to Belgium (-98%), Italy (-31%) and Spain (-18%).