The Irish Independent newspaper reports that Libya has accepted Ireland's health certification on live cattle imports, a move that re-opens the Libyan market to Irish cattle for the first time since the BSE live cattle lock-out in 1995.
In 1993, close to 400,000 head were shipped live and more than 200,000 tonnes went as carcass beef. In the meantime, the surge in world cattle prices has enabled EU exports to North Africa/Middle East to take place without need for refund or subsidy.
Customers in Libya are understood to be looking for store-type male animals over 400kg and under two years of age, and have a preference for bulls over steers. "The sort of calves that currently go for veal within Europe should be ideal", says the report, adding, "it is expected that the Libyan market can return prices similar to current mart levels".
(Source: Irish Independent)