IFA is predicting a positive outlook for the live export trade as 2014 begins and a new ferry route to the UK is also on the cards.
Local IFA Chairman Andrew McHugh said the prospects looked positive this year for calves, weanlings and store cattle. “The live trade has the potential to grow substantially again this year and IFA expect developments on a new ferry route to the UK in early 2014.”
He went on to say that the trade grew by 31% last year with a total of 209,481 animals exported. Calf exports were up over 50,000 to 90,658, with big increases to the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium and France. Weanling and store cattle exports also grew to a total of 70,430 head, while finished cattle exports were slightly back at 48,393 per head. Exports of quality weanling to Italy were back 30% or about 10,000 head in 2013. “The total value of live exports was in excess of €240m and a key feature was the reopening of the trade to Libya and North Africa for the first time in 16 years,” Mr McHugh added. Prospects look positive in 2014 with exports to Spain and Italy expected to grow, driven by stronger beef prices and a reduction in feed costs. Beef production in Spain is expected to increase and Spanish live exports to North Africa are also expected to grow. The local IFA chief also pointed to potential increases in calf exports to Holland.