Dependence on UK clear to see in CSO import figures

Figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO), published by AgriLand last week, showed a clear dependency on the UK for imported products such as barley and wheat.

The figures also showed that Northern Ireland and Great Britain provide a passage for many goods, such as maize.


243,259t of barley (unmilled) were imported from Great Britain into the Republic of Ireland in 2018 – 65% of total barley imports. 7% of 26,055t crossed the border from Northern Ireland.

In 2017, 78% (141,209t) of barley imported into Ireland came from Great Britain. That’s a massive 141,209t. Almost 9% came from Northern Ireland – 15,876t.


33% (99,781t) of wheat (other wheat including spelt and meslin, unmilled) imported in 2017 came from Great Britain, while 8% (22,886t) came from Northern Ireland.

In 2018, Great Britain accounted for almost 17% of wheat imports, while the amount that crossed the border was insignificant.


Maize (not including sweetcorn, unmilled, other than seed) import figures suggest that a significant amount of this product is unloaded in Northern Ireland and travels across the border. 7.7% (85,946t) of maize imports in 2017 came from Northern Ireland.

Likewise, certain amounts travel through Great Britain, this amount accounted for just 1.7% (19,276t) in 2018.

2018 percentages were similar, but tonnages were significantly higher, due to the overall increase in maize imports – 43% from 2017.

7.33% (117,199t) of maize imports came from Northern Ireland in 2018, while 1.66% (26,566t) came from Great Britain.

WTO Tariffs

While uncertainty around Brexit continues, it is important to note World Trade Organisation (WTO) tariffs which may be applied if a ‘no-deal’ scenario occurs. Wheat would be subject to a tariff of €95/t; barley would see €93/t added to the cost and oats €89/t.

It should be noted that there are some exceptions to these tariffs.