Grain imports so far are down from last year

Imports of maize, wheat and barley, up until the end of May, are down on last year’s figures.

Data provided to AgriLand from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) shows that imports of these grains from January to May of 2020 are significantly lower than the same time last year.

The majority of this grain is used for animal feed with smaller amounts used in drinks and food production.


Maize (unmilled, other than seed, not including sweetcorn) is by far the biggest import of the three. 527,504t of maize were imported into this country from January to May 2020. In the same period last season, 804,393t of maize were imported.

Approximately 100,318t of maize landed in Ireland in May and more than half of this maize came from Canada – 51,390t.

The good weather and growing conditions in the early part of the year no doubt helped to reduce this figure. However, May was an extremely dry month and any increase as a result may be more noticeable in the June figures.


Imports of ‘other wheat’ (including spelt and meslin, unmilled) from January to May 2020 came to 48,031t. In 2019, this figure was 81,241t, while in 2017 the figure for the same period was 90,154t.

2018 was an exceptional year of drought and saw an estimated 132,531t imported in the month of May.

In 2020, the months of March and May saw massive jumps in imports. 14,081t were imported in March, while 13,171t were imported in May.

The majority of wheat imports in May came from our neighbours.

A total of 9,648t of wheat came from Great Britain and a further 3,522t of wheat came from Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland in the month of May.


Approximately 34,614t of barley (unmilled) traveled into the Republic of Ireland from January to May of 2020. The highest imports came in May at approximately 8,398t.

All of the barley imports in May came from Great Britain and Northern Ireland. 7,229t traveled across the water from Great Britain and 1,169t came across the border from Northern Ireland.

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