Turkey suspends live imports of cattle

Turkey has suspended live imports into its market in a reversal of actions compared to recent years.

Speaking to AgriLand, Joe Burke, the sector manager for beef and livestock with Bord Bia, confirmed that Turkey has closed off its market to imports.

“It’s a suspension as a result of the market being a bit subdued for beef over there. It’s a reversal of what was seen over the last few years whereby they have promoted imports and the Government has over time freed up and facilitated more imports in order to make sure that meat and beef in particular were affordable and more available.”

The sector manager outlined that this has changed due to a relatively strong and abundant supply of cattle on the Turkish market with prices now somewhat under pressure.

“They’re looking to restrict the supply or curtail imports and to basically protect their domestic farmers,” Burke explained.

This has been the message that Bord Bia has been receiving over the last couple of weeks, with Burke adding that indications have suggested that this will continue to be the case for the first two months of the year, probably until the end of February.

“It’s disappointing given that it was a very strong market obviously in 2017. There were a few boats at the beginning of last year and there was one boat in the middle of the year around July, but obviously it’s been slow for Irish cattle since then.

“We’ve no orders coming in as yet but this obviously indicates that it’s not going to pick up in the short term anyway.”