IFA National Livestock Chairman Angus Woods has said it is essential that more resources are provided to assist the live export trade on market access.
He said, “No effort can be spared to get the vitally important live export trade to Turkey moving as soon as possible. IFA is continuing to work with exporters and the Department of Agriculture to progress matters.”
Angus Woods said IFA has made it very clear to the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed that a strong live trade in the autumn is essential for competition and to put a strong floor under weanling prices. He said there is a very strong focus on market access for the beef trade and a similar drive must be made by the Minister, the Department and Bord Bia for the important live trade.
Irish exporters are involved in the recent tender from Turkey and negotiations are continuing, as well as arrangements for the various requirements to meet the veterinary certificate and transport. Angus Woods said some of these requirement are complex and a more flexible and accommodating approach is required. He said timing is very important with weanling sales and numbers at the marts increasing significantly over the next number of weeks.
Angus Woods said Turkey is a major opportunity for the Irish livestock sector and has an import requirement for up to 400,000 head of live cattle annually. In 2015, Turkey imported 380,000 head of cattle, the majority from South America and up to 120,000 head from France.
“Turkey is a high volume live cattle destination, capable of paying very good prices,” Angus Woods said, adding that beef cattle prices in Turkey are the equivalent of €7.50 to €8/kg and feeders pay up to €4 – €4.50/kg live weight for younger stock.
IFA has been pushing to get the live trade to Turkey open since last year and, following a lot of hard work as well as several visits by Turkish and Irish delegations, the opening of the trade was announced.
The IFA Livestock Leader said the immediate requirement in Turkey is for younger stock, bull weanlings up to 12 months of age and up to 300kgs from beef breeds.