With a clear shortage in domestic sheep production relative to market demand, Libya has emerged as an important market for live sheep exports from the EU.
Declan Fennell, of the Irish trade body Bord Bia, said that Irish live sheep exports almost doubled to approach 70,000 head in 2013, and the new market of Libya is proving key.
In the past two years, EU live exports to Turkey almost ceased:
“Instead, it is now Libya which is driving EU exports. Interestingly, demand has surged in Libya since the fall of the Gaddafi regime in 2011. Back in 2009, almost 29,000 live sheep were exported into Libya; this compares to a staggering 845,000 head in the period January to August 2013.”