Ireland has been cleared to export live cattle to Egypt under a new deal announced by Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney.
The agreement follows an inspection visit by the Egyptian ministry of agriculture to the Republic last week.
“It is essential that both beef and live trades are functioning well and that farmers have options when marketing their stock,” Mr Coveney said, noting 2016 was likely to bring challenges for the beef sector here.
“Continued investment in the sector and a focus on opening markets for both beef and the live trade will be key to the continued development of this critically important sector,” he said.
The main export market for live cattle is Northern Ireland, where exports rose 9 per cent last year.
Ireland is expected to start exporting beef to China later this year following a lifting of the BSE-inspired trade embargo.
“A Chinese inspection team recently completed their visit to Ireland and will be submitting their report to their authorities in the next few weeks,” a spokeswoman for the department said.