There has been a huge increase in the number of finished and store cattle exported live from Ireland so far this year. Finished cattle exports are up 31% on the same period last year to a total of 23,570, while store cattle are up a massive 39.6% to 16,515 in total.
The majority of these animals headed to Northern Ireland for either direct slaughter or a short finishing period. Speaking to mart managers over the last few months, the presence of northern buyers has been both noticeable and beneficial for the overall trade, with a shortage of cattle in the North as well as a strong beef price and a favourable exchange rate all working in favour of northern buyers.
Live calf exports
Calf live exports are running slightly ahead of 2020 levels, with 131,305 calves exported as of the week ending 19 June, some 2.5% ahead of the same period last year.
ICBF figures show that up to 18 June 2021, there had been over 1.4m dairy calf births registered in Ireland. Assuming the vast majority of calves exported live have come from the dairy herd, this means just over 9% of all dairy calves born so far this year have been exported live.