The Egyptian market for Irish cattle is finally open again after a 25-year hiatus. The shipment of cattle to Egypt ceased in 1997 in the wake of the 1996 BSE crisis.

Viastar, the Meath-based live export company, has secured a contract for 4,000 bulls to Egypt this year and has been actively sourcing Hereford, Aberdeen Angus and plainer continental weanlings over the last two months.

Some 1,500 bulls will be loaded in the next few days, having undergone a quarantine period over the last few weeks.

A further shipment of 1,500 bulls will be loaded this weekend by a southern-based exporter. That ship is destined for Libya with heavier dairy-cross bulls.

Live exports

Live exports are currently running 22,121 ahead of 2021 levels, or up 11%.

Much of this is due to higher calf exports to the Netherlands, however, Libya has taken 7,269 cattle so far in 2022, up 2,341 head on the 2021 figure.

Some 600 cattle have also been exported to Lebanon in 2022.