Imports of the major grains decreased in the first quarter (January, February and March) of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, according to data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

The majority of these imports are used in the production of animal feed while some grains, albeit a small amount, are used in the food and drinks sectors.


Maize (not including sweetcorn, unmilled, other than seed) imports decreased from 505,748t from January to March (inclusive) of 2019 to 336,719t in 2020. However, imports of the product stood at 331,670t for the same period in 2018 and 257,524t in 2017.


Barley (unmilled) imports were down considerably from 2019. 18,833t of barley were imported from January to March in 2020, while 37,494t had been imported for the same period in 2019. 63,985t had been imported in 2018 and 32,086t had been imported in 2017.


Imports of wheat were also down. Imports of ‘Other wheat’ (other wheat – including spelt – and meslin, unmilled) totalled 32,247t from January to March of 2020. 62,589t had been imported from January to march of 2019.

In 2018, 58,758t of wheat were imported. The figure for the same period in 2017 amounted to 47,039t.


AgriLand also came across another interesting figure. 14,030t of malt were imported from January to March of 2020. This is an increase on 2019 when 6,597t were imported in the same time period.