1.6 million tonnes of maize imported – up 43% on 2017

Just shy of 1.6 million tonnes of maize (unmilled and not seed) entered this country in 2018.

The drought of 2018 no doubt contributed to this increase, while the competitive price of maize in comparison to barley and wheat also added to the increase in maize consumption.

Figures provided by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) to AgriLand show that 1,599,917t were imported to the Republic of Ireland in 2018; that’s an increase of 43% on the 2017 figure of 1,115,593t.

A certain percentage of this maize was destined for whiskey production; that figure is estimated by AgriLand to be approximately 6% of the total.

Data source: CSO

How much did it cost?

The average price of maize imported in 2018 was €168.00/t (using raw data from the CSO). The price was just under this in 2017 at €167.10/t.

These figures are the landed cost of the products and do not include transport to the mill, merchant or farm.

Where did it come from?

The majority of maize imported in 2018 originated from Canada – 49%. 17% came from Ukraine, while 16% came from Brazil.

The remainder came from Bulgaria, France, Northern Ireland, Great Britain, the United States, Netherlands, while small amounts came from Argentina, Germany, Hungary and Spain.

7% of imports came through Northern Ireland, the origin of maize coming from regions like Northern Ireland is not known.


Imports came from a greater range of countries in 2017. However, Canada still delivered the greatest amount of imports at 28%. This was followed by Brazil at 20% and Ukraine at 16%.

Other imports came from Bulgaria, France, Great Britain, Latvia, Lithuania, Northern Ireland, Poland, Romania, Russia, Spain and the US. Very small amounts also came from Germany, Hungary and Turkey.

It should be noted that maize is also imported in other forms such as seed and corn flour. Seed accounted for 5,561t in 2018 and corn flour was just 401t in the same year.

AgriLand must stress that this raw data was provided by the CSO and indicates trends, some figures may be subject to change.

Stay tuned to AgriLand for more on these figures!