Three Algerian buyers are currently in Ireland and anxious to secure over 13,000 head of live cattle for export.
The buyers, facilitated by the Emerald Isle Beef Producer group, have toured a number of farms, observing stock quality.
Due to their inability to export cattle from France, the buyers are now looking for approximately 6,000 finished Irish continental bulls and steers for live export, 6,000 continental weanlings and 1,500 in-calf Friesian heifers.
They have also expressed interest in taking 100 cattle a week in carcase form or over 5,000 over the course of a year.
No deal yet
While the interest from the Algerian buyers is strong, “there’s no deal done yet”, according to Eamon Corley of the producer group.
“They’re interested in 13,000 live cattle if the deal can be done. They’ve issues with a French contract, a problem with a BSE case being detected apparently. They won’t be able to move cattle out of France for the foreseeable,” he told the Irish Farmers Journal.
Corley said he is in “ongoing communication” with the Algerian buyers and that his plan is to get farmers to first express interest in supplying cattle for the deal, before then agreeing to the exact terms and conditions before final negotiations conclude.
“[I’m] negotiating to set up a deal involving a benchmark for long-term arrangement, so that prices paid will stay in line or ahead of factory prices, with a similar arrangement for weanlings that prices stay in line or ahead of the market price,” he told producer group members in a circular.
“I will be looking for farmers to commit cattle for this potential deal. I will issue Algeria cattle committal forms shortly,” he said.
Corley said that it’s an “expression of interest of interest” from the Algerian buyers at present and that the 13,000 number of live cattle exports would be over the course of a year.
“Things like this take time. They’d be starting to take cattle in two weeks, but it wouldn’t be possible to set up in that time. It’ll be finalised as soon as possible,” he said.
Emerald Isle Beef Producer group representatives asked farmers interested in supplying cattle to get in touch.