A shipment of 2,000 bulls will load for Libya in 10 days’ time.

Livestock export company Viastar Ltd is this week seeking animals of up to 480kg for the Atlantic M specialist livestock carrier, which it will load on Tuesday week.

Any serious resumption of live exports to Libya would be welcome given the ongoing expansion of dairy herds and the higher beef kill already building for next year. There is a shortage of meat and livestock in Libya, but the trade has been hampered by political instability.

The shipment will take Friesian and continental cross bulls. No quarantine period is required, which eases the administration involved. Meanwhile, Viastar will load 3,000 weanlings next week on the Brahman Express for the Turkish market and will fill two further shipments of weanlings before year end.

The resumption of live cattle exports is giving a much-needed confidence boost to cattle farmers. There is upward momentum in the beef trade this week anyway, with sterling having strengthened and beef cattle numbers now set to fall.


The importance of live exports is shown by the prediction from Bord Bia this week that beef kill will have risen by 65,000 head in 2016 – equal to two weeks’ extra throughput. It will be 120,000 head higher again in 2017 – four weeks average kill.

Separately, a new EU report reveals the damage to EU beef and cattle prices that would follow future free trade deals. Imports from South America would rise, pushing EU beef prices down by 16%.