ICSA suckler chairman John Halley has said that the outlook for live exports is starting to look a bit more positive, with hopes growing that Turkey will be a key customer for cattle in 2017. “Farmers should be aware that the Turkish market has a very specific requirement for weanlings. Animals must be under twelve months on arrival so agents assembling stock will looking for animals under 11 months old in some cases. Also, weanlings have to be properly dehorned or they will not be considered. The maximum weight is about 330 kg.”
Mr Halley also noted that calf exports to the Netherlands have picked up and are running at almost double the level of last year, while Spain is also taking significant numbers of calves.
Mr Halley added that there seems to be more interest in heavier weanlings from Irish feeders but this is linked to the fact that they are somewhat scarce at present in some parts of the country. “Factories don’t want to admit it but there are some signs that they are going to be anxious for beef during the early summer. Reports suggest that they are buying significant numbers of forward stores to kill from their own feedlots in May and June. Farmers selling stores at present are in a stronger position than they have been for a while.”
“However, the reality is that the only future for farmers is to see as much live exports as possible. Factories are increasingly using their own feedlots and rented sheds to undermine the chance of independent farmers making a profit.”