IRELAND - Irish Live exports of cattle have eased so far this year to stand at 58,000 head, according to Eoin Kelly, Business Analyst at Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board.
This represents a decrease of around 15 per cent compared to the corresponding period last year.
Latest figures show cattle exports of 9,722 head were recorded for the week ending 28 March, according to the Department of Agriculture’s AIM system.
Export of weanlings and stores are back by a combined 4,500 head.
Similarly, there have been declines in adult cattle by just under 1,000 head.
Live exports of calves are back by 12 per cent to around 45,000 head and make up 66 per cent of total live exports.
The principal destinations for the live cattle trade so far this year are the Netherlands and the UK, followed by continental markets such as Spain, Italy, and France.
The number of cattle moved to the UK increased by 31 per cent to over 17,000 head, with the majority going to Northern Ireland.
This has been driven by a 23 per cent rise in adult cattle exports and significant increase in exports of weanlings and stores.
Exports to the Netherlands increased by eight per cent, to reach almost 26,000 head with a 26 per cent rise in calf numbers driving the trade there.
Traditional markets such as Spain and Italy have seen a slowdown in trade to date. However, there have been some large shipments of calves to Spain in the last number of weeks.
Trade to international markets have reached 2,000 head to date this year, a sharp decline on last year. North Africa is the main destination with smaller shipments recorded.
However, this has offset somewhat by a rise in live cattle exports to Tunisia.TheMeatSite News Desk