IFA National Livestock Chairman Angus Woods said IFA has been in contact with Purcell Brothers and welcomed the positive news this week that they have secured a live cattle contract for exports to Turkey. He said this is a very positive development and a major boost to the livestock sector.
Angus Woods said it is expected boats will begin to sail in late April and continue after that. The requirement is for young bulls under 12 months of age.
He said IFA has been working with exporters and buyers as well as with the Department of Agriculture to get the Turkish trade moving again. He said there is great interest in Irish cattle and he expects further contracts to be secured.
Angus Woods said IFA worked hard to get the live export market to Turkey opened last year and it was very positive that more than 19,000 cattle were exported between September and December last year by the Meath based export company Viastar, with significant price benefits being returned to cattle farmers in marts all across the country.
The live export trade is essential for competition in the livestock sector and was never needed more at this time of rising cattle numbers.
Angus Woods said Turkey is a major live export market and a great opportunity for the Irish livestock sector. Turkey has an import requirement for 400,000 head of live cattle annually. In 2015, Turkey imported 380,000 head of cattle from Europe and South America. Turkey is a high volume destination, capable of paying good prices.
Angus Woods said live cattle exports continue to rise and reached 8,302 head for week ending February 26th. Calf exports continue to rise week-on-week and totalled 6,646 head while 857 adult cattle, 452 weanlings and 347 stores were also exported. He said the recent move to reduce charges on calf exports by €1,150 per load is a major boost to the trade.
Looking at destinations, Angus Woods said 4,453 head went to the Netherlands, 2,099 to Spain, 786 to Northern Ireland, 388 to Great Britain, 272 to Belgium, 244 to Italy and 60 to Greece.