Feed importer ADM Arkady Ireland has called on the Minister for Agriculture to credit a levy applied to animal feed imports and show that he “has Irish farmers’ backs”.
On 7 December 2020, a shipment of US beet pulp landed at Waterford Port at an extra cost of €500,000 to the feed industry due to a retaliatory tariff placed on US beet pulp by the EU in November.
Managing director of ADM Arkady in Ireland Tony Markey explained to the Irish Farmers Journal that a 25% duty was placed on beet pulp on 10 November, just a day after the EU made the decision to impose retaliatory tariffs on certain products as part of the ongoing Boeing-Airbus dispute.
Fifty-thousand tonnes of beet pulp had been forward traded, with 30,000t of it yet to land in Ireland at that stage and on 7 December approximately €500,000 in duties was placed on one consignment.
The tariff, which was to have a negative effect on the US, effectively backfired and put the charge on to Irish animal feed.
Markey commented: “We feel that it is totally unreasonable to publish a definitive list one day and to then implement it the following day without any discussion or interaction having taken place with Irish stakeholders.
“Ultimately, it is Irish farmers who will bear the brunt of these punitive levies and make them even less competitive into the future.
“Surely it was not the intention of the European Commission and the Irish Department of Agriculture, who approved it, to penalise Irish farmers?
“No consultation was initiated and no impact assessment was carried out with the Irish feed industry.
"As importers, we feel that this issue is a prime example of poor administration of administrative law.”
20,000t delivery due in spring
A further 20,000t of pulp is due to be shipped in the spring.
However, the company has stated that if there is no resolution between the new US administration and the European Commission, we will be forced to sell this tonnage outside the EU and risk defaulting on our contracts with Irish mills as this tonnage will, at this late stage, be very difficult to replace.
Markey stressed the need for both the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Trade to press the EU Council to de-escalate trade tensions and stress the need to remove retaliatory import duties on US feeds and grains to relieve current market pressure.
Responding to a parliamentary question from Carol Nolan TD, Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConologue stated he had no plans to put measures in place to support the industry as a result of the imposition of these tariffs.
Markey added: “I would call on the Minister to reconsider this decision, credit the levy and show Irish farmers that he has their backs.”
Beet pulp in Irish rations
The 2020/2021 season saw beet pulp shortages in Europe and Russia.
Beet pulp has formed an integral part of Irish ruminant rations for many years and this continued despite the closing down of the Irish sugar industry.
Ireland is one of the most affected countries by the implementation of the duties.