Sinn Féin spokesperson for Agriculture, Claire Kerrane TD, has called on Minister McConalogue to respond to growing concerns over the potential impact that imports of Ukrainian grain could have on prices for grain growers in the State.
It has been reported that imported Ukranian grain, at a cost less than the current market price for Irish grain, will place significant pressure on Irish grain growers as harvesting season is about to commence.
Speaking today, Teachta Kerrane said:
“Reports of grain being imported from Ukraine at significantly lower prices to those of national grain prices is really concerning.
“I have been contacted by several tillage farmers and Irish Grain Growers who are very worried about what these imports will mean for the sector.
“They have advised me that the imported grain is being traded at €160 per tonne, in comparison to current market prices for Irish grain of €202 per tonne for barley, €223 per tonne for wheat, and €430 per tonne for oilseed rape.
“With drying costs added at an additional €35 per tonne, that’s a drop of over €100 per tonne between the two products. That is a stark difference to national prices and threatens to force grain prices down, which will in turn have a severe impact on Grain Growers here in the State.
“This threat to depress the sector comes at the worst time, as harvest season is about to start.
“Similar issues have been experienced in other EU states, such as Poland and Latvia, which have received compensation at EU level, in order to prevent a collapse in their national tillage sectors as a result of Ukrainian grain being imported in.
“I have queried this matter with Minister McConalogue and asked him to outline what supports and assurances he intends to provide to tillage farmers, given these recent reports.
“Just last week the Minister acknowledged that the tillage sector lost out under the new CAP. It is important that that recognition is now translated into action and adequate supports for the tillage sector where they are needed.”