Grain Reports

Grain Council Report October 2020

Grain Market Update

With the grain harvest finished, growers have now turned their attention to planting. Average yield figures are not finalised but the total harvest will be somewhere in the region of 1.95m tonnes. It is likely that while oats tonnage is down slightly on last year, the real hit is on wheat and barley with total combined tonnage down over 400,000 tonnes on 2019.No final harvest prices have yet been issued by the trade but some are expected next week.

As always, the situation in the UK will affect our domestic market. The final UK wheat production figure has come in at approximately 10m tonnes which is 37% below last year. However, barley will still have to be exported from the UK. Nonetheless the price of wheat has helped demand for barley as it displaces it in feed rations.

The second week of September was the final date for the malting barley price model on the FOB Creil. The final settlement price for any malting barley supplied which was not forward sold is €173.73/t.

On the world market the figures from the US last week which indicated lower stock figures for wheat, maize and soya have led to a sustained rally in future prices. Demand from China and elsewhere also remains strong. Matif wheat futures are at two year high, driven by world demand and the continued dryness in the US and the Baltic areas which is affecting Winter wheat plantings.

Irish Native / Import Dried Feed Prices 06/10/2020

Spot €/tNov 2020 €/t
Feed Barley177179-182
Maize (Import)200195
Soymeal (Import)385385

Activity since last National Council

  • Due to the poor harvest conditions in the midlands and elsewhere the grain committee have asked Teagasc to do an impact assessment on yields. IFA also asked affected growers to send in details of poor yields to their local Teagasc or IFA offices.
  • Members of the grain committee again met grain merchants including Glanbia, to discuss issues in the sector, including the need to pay sustainable prices this harvest. The plight of growers with poor yields was emphasised.
  • IFA had further engagement with Boortmalt where derogations in relation to moisture and protein levels were secured.
  • IFA has again called on the new Government to support the tillage sector and have written to the new minister Charlie McConalogue requesting a meeting.
  • Covid 19 has continued to have a severe impact on the tillage sector, particularly on the feed and malting barley sectors. IFA have continued to raise the issue regarding potential supports for growers of malting barley who have been indirectly affected by continued closure of many pubs.
  • The grain committee continued discussions with the seed companies regarding derogations to ensure maximum intake of Irish seed.
  • A full meeting of the IFA grain committee took place online.
  • A number of IFA grain market reports were issued to all grain members to update on local and international harvest and market developments.
  • A Grain Newsletter was produced which went to all members.

EU/COPA developments

  • The Farm to Fork Strategy element of the European Green Deal is aiming to make food systems fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly. At a recent COPA meeting the Grain Chairman Mark Browne highlighted that there is nothing fair about targets in the Green Deal, which will increase the regulatory burden and undermine local tillage framers while continuing to allow access to non-EU feedstuffs produced to different standards.
  • IFA has continued lobbying on proposed changes in the new CAP.
  • IFA wrote to all Irish MEP’s in relation to recognizing the Maximin residue level (MRL) agreed by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) for Flonicamid. The product is currently authorised for use in Ireland on cereals, potatoes, fodder beet, and oil seed rape for the control of insects.

Upcoming Issues/Events

  • IFA will continue to lobby for supports to tillage farmers most affected by the weather and the Covid 19 pandemic.
  • Meeting to be arranged with Teagasc regarding the inclusion of more Irish grains in Dairy rations.
  • IFA will continue to contact the mushroom composters regarding procurement of Irish straw.
  • CAP 2020 continues to be a major issue for the viability of the Grain sector and the Grain Committee will be working on this in the coming months.
  • IFA is continuing to work with Bord Bia and IGAS on a labelling standard regarding the inclusion of native grains and will continue its campaign on greater inclusion of native grains in feed rations.
ChairmanMark Browne
ExecutivePatrick Farrell

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