Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney has agreed a deal with Egypt to enable live cattle imports from Ireland.
In 2014, Egypt imported $135m in live cattle from Australia, Uruguay, and Brazil.
In 1996, Ireland exported 100,000 head of live cattle to Egypt. There are currently three vessels approved to export cattle from Ireland, and the live trade is expected to grow quickly.
Mr Coveney said: “Political instability in North Africa has severely disrupted the trade. The addition of Egypt to the list of markets open to Irish exporters is a timely boost.”
The deal follows a recent inspection visit to Ireland by the Egyptian agriculture ministry, and talks with Irish exporters and the IFA.
IFA livestock chairman Henry Burns said that, with an extra 50,000 to 70,000 head of finished cattle due in the second half of 2016, resuming a strong live export trade is very welcome.
“IFA has been working on reopening of the Egyptian market for some time, and pursued the case with the Egyptian ambassador, Soha Gendi,” said Mr Burns.
“We need a strong and vibrant live export trade for cattle this year more than ever.”
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