One of the largest loads of weanlings to be exported this year departed Greenore Port on Thursday night and is currently en route to Israel.

The Ganado Express, one of the largest livestock vessels operating in European waters, was loaded on Thursday with 3,500 bulls and bullocks.

The cattle are a mixture of continental and traditional breeds from both the suckler and dairy herd.

The Irish Farmers Journal understands that the boat will dock in an Israeli port in about 10 days time.

This boat load is the second load of weanlings to depart Irish shores in the last two weeks.

Big relief

Curzon livestock exporters loaded the Sarah M with 2,000 dairy bulls last Tuesday. The boat had to take shelter in the bay of Biscay for a few days until storm Debi passed. It’s now on her way to Libya due to dock in the port of Misurata on 21 November.

The fact that the two boats have departed trouble free will come as a big relief to the exporters involved.

Last weekend's news of a bluetounge outbreak in Britain would have worried Irish exporters and the fact that trade restrictions would come into place if an outbreak occurred in Ireland.

Live exporters are reporting good middle eastern demand for cattle in the next few months.

One of the biggest problems is assembling such large loads of cattle at this time of year with marts a lot smaller along with November and December being quiet for cattle trading in general.

2023 has been a very solid year for live exports, with live exports up 18% when compared with the same period in 2022.