Just as the Central Statistics Office (CSO) confirmed Ireland’s 2020 grain production to be down 16% on the previous year, international grain prices have kicked on once again.

That is not to suggest that the two are cause and effect, but lower than expected global production last year, combined with higher demand, has left lower stock levels to buffer any weather-related production difficulties this year.

Area, weather and stocks have again become a concern in recent weeks as the combination of cold and dryness affect planting and crop potential.


This has led to a price spike which provides growers with forward selling opportunities. While prices could rise further, early spring weather problems frequently self-correct allowing prices to fall again.

November wheat pushed up on €215/t this week, with barley up to €205/t.

Chicago December maize has been on an upward trend since last August (€118/t) and it traded at €174/t this week.

Production in 2020 was 2.013Mt, down from 2.396Mt in 2019

This lack of ‘cheap’ maize is supporting prices but any news of increased area or yield potential could reverse this trend.

The lower Irish production in 2020 was a consequence of the lower winter crop planting, winter damage, drought issues and a very small reduction in overall area.

Production in 2020 was 2.013Mt, down from 2.396Mt in 2019. Potato production in 2020 was down 21.5% on 2019, mainly a consequence of high yields? that year.