Turkey set to open to Irish live exports (Here’s the type of cattle they’re after)

Turkey is set to open to Irish live exports and could import up to 500,000 head of cattle this year, according to the IFA.

IFA National Livestock Chairman Henry Burns said Turkish importers have indicated to IFA that they forecast that the market will import up to 500,000 head of live cattle in 2016.

In 2015, 178,000 cattle were exported live from Ireland worth approximately €135m, figures from Bord Bia show.

“With Bluetongue problems in France, they are looking to Ireland as a major EU supplier.”

Burns also said the immediate requirement in Turkey would be for younger stock, mainly bull weanlings up to 12 months of age and up to 300kg, from the suckler herd.

In 2015, EU exports of live cattle showed an increase of close to 60% year-on-year, mainly thanks to the re-opening of the Turkish market.

Lebanon and Turkey remained the two main destinations for European live cattle and Libya is third.

Burns has called on the Minister for Agriculture to prioritise the negotiations in agreeing the access arrangements with the Turkish authorities. He said IFA has been working on live exports to Turkey for some time and this needs to be intensified at Ministerial level.

Turkey imported a total of 380,000 head of live cattle in 2015, the majority from South America. France exported over 120,000 head to the Turkish market in 2015.

The IFA Livestock leader said senior veterinary officials from Turkey visited Ireland last Christmas and were very satisfied with our livestock, conditions and controls.

Henry Burns said to date this year Irish live exports are up 34% or 6,062 head on last year at 23,926 head.