The prospects for the live cattle export trade look much more promising for 2016, the Irish Farmers Association has predicted.
Livestock Committee chairman Henry Burns said the major reduction in milk replacer costs and higher prices in Holland for veal calves should strongly drive calf exports.
In addition, the slow recovery in the EU beef market and lower grain prices should boost demand for live exports of weanlings into the more intensive beef feeding systems in Italy and Spain.
Mr Burns said a strong live export trade is essential for price competition and to maximise market outlets.
With Bord Bia forecasting 50,000 to 80,000 more cattle for sale in 2016, a vibrant live export trade was never more important.
He said Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney needs to prioritise the live export trade and focus on removing the barriers restricting the trade to Northern Ireland and Britain and securing access to international markets like Turkey and Egypt.
Ireland should have access to Turkey and Egypt like other EU countries which are exporting tens of thousands of cattle to these markets, he said, adding France exported over 80,000 head to Turkey last year.
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