Third shipment of Irish weanlings to leave Ireland for Turkey today

A third consignment of live cattle destined for Turkey is to leave Ireland today on the Philippines’ registered Brahman Express.

The ship has accommodation for up to 4,500 weanlings and is expected to leave the port of Greenore in Co. Louth fully laden early this morning.

Today’s expected departure brings the number of cattle exported from Ireland for Turkey to almost 10,000 head over the past number of weeks. The shipments are being organised by the Co. Meath exporting business Viastar.

IFA National Livestock Chairman Angus Woods confirmed that the Express has a 50% greater capacity than the ship used for the first two shipments.

“Its use also ensures a shorter shipping time from Ireland to Turkey. The specification of cattle now eligible for the shipping contract to Turkey has also been expanded.

“Belgian Blue and Parthenaise weanlings are now eligible for shipping. This widens the pool of cattle from which the exporting company can now draw down from. This is further good news for Irish suckler farmers.

“A lot of work has gone into gaining access to this critical market. The relationship that have been built up with the exporter and Turkish authorities and the good element of trust that has been built, has seen scope for the type of cattle exported increase in both breed and weight terms.

It is real positive news story for the industry and it is providing more competition on the market.

The Turkish market requires beef-bred weanling bulls, weighing between 200-320kg. These are plainer animals than those previously required for the Italian market.

All the cattle destined for Turkey are quarantined at an approved export centre in Co. Meath for 21 days. There is no requirement for farmers to vaccinate their calves. This is sorted that out while the animals are at the export centre.

According to United States’ trade interests, Turkey has the potential to become a major supplier of meat to the Middle East.

Meat exports have already grown 10-fold during the past three years. There has been a proliferation of feedlots throughout Turkey as a result of the increasing market demand.

The general belief is that Turkey has tremendous potential to expand the scope of its beef industry. This may well be reflected back in an increased demand for feeder cattle from a range of countries including Ireland.