Turkey issues tender for 50,000 head of EU cattle (Irish exporters eye potential)

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

The tender, which closes to bids in less than seven days, was announced by the Turkish Meat and Milk Board and it is understood a number of Irish live exporters are seriously considering the terms and conditions of the tender.

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 shall 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 .

Potential suppliers have until July 18, 2016 to bid for the work. The tender also sets out that potential bidders must also provide security on the deal in an amount determined by the bidders, not being less than 3% of the tender price.

Turkey imported 100,000 head of EU cattle in the first four months of 2016. The biggest EU supplier to Turkey was Hungary, which exported already more than 33,000 head over the same period.

Ireland was recently listed by the Turkish Ministry for Agriculture as a country from which live bovines may be imported.

This follows pro active and detailed engagement by Department of Agriculture with its Turkish counterparts and an inspection by a Turkish veterinary delegation in May.

Live exports to Turkey are also facing increased competition from Uruguay and Brazil. The Turkish Meat and Milk board have also tendered for 50,000 head of live South American cattle. The feeder cattle to be imported shall from South Amerian must be Angus and Hereford or crossbreeds of both.

Beef prices in Turkey are said to be still relatively high, because the development of Turkish production capacity is taking longer than expected and demand is strong.

The European Commission has forecast that EU live bovine exports are expected to further increase by 12% in 2016 and to stabilise at this high level in 2017, reaching almost 200,000 tonnes c.w.e. (above 2013- 2014 levels).