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Lifting continues this week for growers who have crop remaining in the ground. Conditions remain very difficult which will contribute to high losses. Frost conditions will also add to the amount of unsaleable crop. Most crops remaining in the ground are in the South East of the country with some growers reporting figures of around 12% of their crop left to be harvested.

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Sheep Factory Quotes c/kg including VAT
Factory December 03rd Ewes Spring Lamb
Dawn Ballyhaunis Tuesday 260 475+10QA
ICM Camolin Tuesday 260 475+10QA
ICM Navan Tuesday 260 475+10QA
Kepak Athleague Tuesday 260 475+15QA
Kildare Chilling Tuesday 260+10QA 490+10QA
Moyvalley Meats Tuesday 490

There was no change in quotes from processors last Friday for this week’s pigs, with Rosderra, Dawn Pork & Bacon, Staunton’s and Kepak all remaining on quotes of €1.94-196c/kg for this supplier. Spot loads and some of the more home market focused factories have given up to €1.98c/kg this week to secure pigs.

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Domestic Market

The continuation of the wet conditions throughout November, has ensured there were few further opportunities to plant Winter crops. Some areas in the East and South east have received up to twice the annual rainfall for October and November which will lead to loses in the crops which were planted. This will have significant implications for the availability of wheaten straw in particular next harvest. Many are now considering planting Winter wheat in January/February if conditions allow.

According to Eurostat figures, Ireland has imported 255,000 tonnes of Maize from third countries outside the EU since the marketing season started in July. The majority of the imports were GM maize from Brazil. This figure is 82,000 tonnes down from the same period last year however, it is still a huge figure considering the favourable domestic grass growing season and extra availability of native grains.

There have been some forward prices offered for green barley at €140/t, however, with the price on the low side and the lack of Winter barley plantings, few will be considering these offers for the moment.

Irish Native / Import Dried Prices

Spot €/t Jan 2020 €/t
Wheat 186/188   189
Barley 172 175
Oats 160
OSR 370
Maize (Import) 182 185
Soya (Import) 335 335

International Markets

The Dec 2019 Matif wheat contract, is now trading at €186/t, a major change from the low of €165/t during September. This increase in the futures price has been driven by the reduced Winter plantings in the UK and France as a result of the wet weather experienced in North western Europe. Chicago wheat futures have also jumped in tandem with European prices however some of this is being attributed to technical moves and covering of short positions.

Black sea wheat prices remain strong however Russian wheat production is up 7 million tonnes on last year and they also have increased their Winter cropping area by 4% compared to 2019.This may more than account for the potential reduction in the EU planted area, and may cancel out the potential reduction in the European area.

With the greater potential for EU wheat production being reduced compared to barley, we are seeing some divergence in the market between wheat and barley. The market is assuming that framers will plant more Spring barley crops in 2020 in order to compensate for the inability to plant wheat etc.

Corn (Maize) futures rose in tandem with wheat towards the end of last week as sales of US corn increased and snowfall in the north mid-west of the US is causing problems with finishing the corn harvest. Increased internal demand in Brazil from ethanol and livestock producers has also being positive for future prices.

Rapeseed futures continue to remain robust however soybean prices have fallen significantly in the past week due to continued uncertainty in US/China trade talks, and the potential for increased production from south America in 2020. The EU continues to be over dependent on imported protein crops with the block increasing soymeal imports by 15% compared to last year.


IFA President Joe Healy said the lifting of two court injunctions and legal threats against two farmers, Cllr Padraig Brady and Colm Leonard, was welcome.  The fact that these injunctions remained in place was petty and mean spirited.

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