With Brexit still a hot topic on almost everyone’s lips, it seems that the department of agriculture have elected to look at opening or expanding alternative markets for our food. Here at thatsfarming.com, we are delighted to hear it, but who, what and where have they been looking and what will it mean for the Irish beef farmer.
After doing some research into Irish exports to Saudi Arabia, the value of food exported to Saudi Arabia was 136 million euro, up from 92 million euro in 2013, and is in fact our third largest non EU Irish food importer after China and the USA.
It seems that Saudi Arabia import the highest quality beef, produced from cattle less than 30 months. This may be a bone of contention for some farmers and producers, but it is a rule that most beef farmers seem to have a firm grasp of.
Saudi Arabia itself has a population 33,000,000 which is largely Muslim and requires halal beef.
The enhanced access for Irish beef is for processed, minces, cooked and bone in beef products.
Almost 12 months ago, an agreement was made between the Irish and Egyptian government to restart the live exports of cattle to Egypt, but to date no exports of live cattle have occurred.
A recent report from Egypt has concurred that it requires to import 1m head of cattle on an annual basis, in order to meet the needs of the growing population, currently 85m people and rising at a rate of 2% per annum, as well as curbing the massively rising inflation of food prices.
This is a market that could provide an important outlet for Irish beef, which have been largely supplied until now by Australia, but rising prices and dwindling supplies have reduced imports by Egypt.
As the formalities have been agreed by the relevant departments, the Irish exporters should now seek to compete to win these contracts to supply these cattle.
In the past few weeks on behalf of Turkey’s Dairy and Meat Board, an order for 40,000 beef bred bulls has been secured, these are to be supplied by autumn of this year, by Purcell Brothers.
These cattle required for the Turkish contract, are cattle born after May 2016 and at a liveweight of 200 – 320 kg.
The talk of a sale of Dunbia meats to Dawn meats is not good news for farmers. Competition between factory groups is stagnant at present without losing a competing player, is not in the interest of primary producers and thus is not in the public interest.
It is reported that supplies are tightening with the week on week kill down by 1800 head.
Young Bulls 365-395c/kg
Reports are that grass buyers are even more active with the best prices achieved for the high quality animals, weights from 500kg up are getting up to 900 euro over, as well as good demand for forward stores and short keep cattle and almost finished cattle.