Increased Exports Of Calves To The Continent

NORTHERN IRELAND, UK - Over the course of the last year there has been a gradual increase in the number of dairy bull calves exported from Northern Ireland (NI) to continental Europe.
calendar icon 20 December 2010
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So far this year over 14,500 calves have been exported from NI with the bulk of them going to Italy and Spain. From January to November this year, exports of dairy bull calves (under 42 days old) to Spain have doubled compared to 2009 levels. This year 8,500 calves have been exported to Spain compared to 4,200 last year. There has also been a steady increase in exports of bull calves to Italy. In 2009 this trade was virtually non-existent, until November when a few hundred calves were exported. However, this year so far, almost 3,000 bull calves have been shipped.

Much of this trade in dairy bull calves is channeled through dealers in ROI and this may provide some explanation for the 3,000 head exported to ROI over the course of 2010. Historically, the bulk of the trade in bull calves was to veal units in Holland. However, this trade effectively ceased in 2008 due to concerns about a batch of TB infected calves from GB.

Until early 2009 there were no exports of bull calves from the UK to continental Europe and many local producers finished these calves for the domestic market as young bulls. With this export trade in calves now rejuvenated, the availability of young bulls is bound to tighten over the course of next year.

Figure 1: Monthly Exports of Calves (Under 42 Days)
from NI, Jan-Nov 2009/10 (head)

Source: Aphis

Figure 2: Destination of Calves (Under 42 days) Exported from NI Jan - Nov 2010

Source: Aphis

Further Reading

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