Live exporters have ramped up activity this week, with three of the country’s leading exporters competing for several different export contracts for weanlings.

The Shorthorn Express is currently docked in Greenore Port and is due to load weanlings in the next few days, depending weather conditions.

The Irish Farmers Journal understands that, following meetings held between Irish exporters and Turkish importers last weekend, buying will commence on a large-scale for a number of boatloads in the coming months.

Taking a look at this week’s MartBids analysis, exporters certainly left their mark with 300kg to 400kg weanling bulls up €70/head when compared with last week. A top-quality 350kg weanling bull is currently selling for an average of €1,344 with exceptional calves crossing the €4/kg mark in marts all over the country.

Figures from Bord Bia point to a firm start to the year from an international perspective, with three shipments already departed for the Middle East and north Africa in the last few weeks. Disease restrictions in France and Spain are driving demand for Irish cattle within and outside Europe.

Reducing cattle herds across Europe are also contributing to stable demand for Irish livestock.

Calf exports have been slower to start in 2024 but are expected to increase strongly in the coming weeks.

There has been a very firm store and finished cattle trade to Northern Ireland in recent weeks with a good dairy heifer trade to Britain also.