How much wheat and barley was imported from the UK so far this year?

There is plenty of talk of grain imports from the UK ahead of the Brexit deadline and fears of grain being off-loaded before the end of October.

The figures below detail barley and wheat imports up until the end of August for 2017, 2018 and 2019 from Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

2018 figures are higher in all cases, mainly due to the fact that feed was imported in extremely high numbers during the severe drought.

The most notable rise from 2017 is in barley coming across the border from Northern Ireland; the 2019 figure came in just 500t short of 2018 – a year of exceptional demand.

September and October might give a better insight into the impact of Brexit preparations on imports on both sides of the border.

As Brexit negotiations continue at the time of publication, it is worth noting that a tariff of €93/t could apply to these imports in the event a ‘no-deal’ Brexit.

The data below – which was obtained from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) – includes imports of barley (unmilled) and wheat (including spelt and meslin, unmilled total).

Imports from Great Britain

For the period from January to August in 2019, 66,948t of barley were imported from Great Britain to Ireland. This was lower than the amounts imported in both 2017 (82,354t) and 2018 (181,158t) for the same time period.

Wheat imports from Great Britain stood at 13,162t at the end of August this year. This compares with 20,098t for the same period in 2018 and 10,826t from January to August 2017.

Imports from Northern Ireland

Imports of barley for the same period from Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland in 2019 were only slightly lower than 2018. 12,437t of barley were imported from Northern Ireland in 2019, while 12,901t were imported in 2018. The 2017 figure was significantly lower at 10,642t.

Imports of wheat from Northern Ireland were a lot lower in 2019 at 11,569t. In 2017, this figure was at 14,602t, while it stood at 14,196t in 2018.

Total imports for 2017 and 2018

Barley (unmilled)

372,274t of barley were imported into Ireland in 2018, an exceptional increase of 105% due to the fodder shortage. 65% (243,259t) of this grain came from Great Britain.

A massive 77% (141,209t) of barley came from Great Britain in 2017.

Wheat (including spelt and meslin, unmilled total)

In 2018, a total of 427,751t of wheat were imported into the Republic of Ireland – a jump of 40% on the year before when the figure stood at 304,788t. 17% of this came from Great Britain.

In 2017, 33% (99,781t) of this wheat came from Great Britain, while 7% (22,127t) came 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.

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