Since the last Council report, the harvest of 2023 has been completed for many. However, due to persistent rainfall and difficult weather conditions, a significant area of spring cereals remain unharvested throughout the country with the far south coasts of Cork, Waterford and Wexford the worst affected. In general, the harvest of 2023 could be summarised as very challenging with difficult weather conditions for many particularly in July and September. Overall, grain yields were moderate to average for winter cereals and oilseed rape but later sown spring barley produced poor to very poor grain yields. Straw yields are reported as well down nationally, with spring cereals again the most affected.
Native grain prices have been largely finalised around the country at this stage. The largest grain co-operatives, Tirlan and Dairygold, paid prices of €205/t for green, feed barley, with feed wheat prices at a +€10/t premium to this. Malting barley prices settled at a very significant premium over feed barley. The final price on the FOB Creil average model for Boortmalt suppliers finished at €274.75/t with a €10/t premium for distilling. This is in addition to the forward fixed price offers of €320/t and €300/t available throughout the growing season. Prices for the Malting Company of Ireland contracts finished at €290/t.
Dried prices have remained largely static at between €235-240/t for wheat with barley at €10-15 below this. At an international level, competitive Russian wheat exports are keeping global wheat prices under pressure. Grain exports from Ukraine continue to flow largely unimpeded through the temporary humanitarian corridor, with 3 million tonnes shipped in October according to Reuters. Lower harvest forecasts due to dry conditions in southern hemisphere countries like Australia have provided some support to holding prices at current levels. Future price direction for feed wheat and barley into 2024 will be influenced by global maize supply trends.
Activity Since Last National Council
- A submission for the DAFM consultation on new genomic techniques was prepared.
- National grain committees took place on September 15th and October 31st respectively.
- The National Grain Chairman and Grain Policy Executive attended a Tillage Vision Group meeting in Backweston on October 16th.
- An IFA delegation met with Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue and senior officials from DAFM to discuss issues in the tillage sector at present including the difficulties surrounding unharvested crops in many parts of the country.
- The National Grain Chairman and the Grain Policy Executive will travel to Brussels in mid-November to meet Irish MEPS and discuss the implications of the SUR Pesticide Proposals for Ireland.
- The National Grain Chairman and the Grain Policy Executive will attend the COPA – COGECA Cereals and Oilseeds working party in Brussels on December 15th.
- Two further Food Vision Tillage group meetings are planned for November and December.
- A qualified majority vote on glyphosate was not reached at the SCoPAFF vote on October 13th in Brussels. An appeal vote has been scheduled for mid-November. A final decision on glyphosate must be made before December 15th 2023 when the authorisation for use expires.
- The plenary vote in the EU Parliament on the SUR Pesticide proposals will take place in the week of Monday November 20th.
- Ensuring recently announced funding for the tillage sector in Budget 24 is targeted at appropriates measures.