Battle rages over harvest grain prices

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Tillage growers must remain in suspense for a little longer as final harvest prices for grain have yet to be decided by the bigger merchants.

The board of Glanbia met on Friday but backed away from setting a final price, while both Drummonds and Dairygold are expected to delay announcing their final prices for at least another week.

A meeting between Glanbia and an IFA delegation took place on Thursday evening, during which the IFA vehemently opposed a Glanbia proposal of €152/t for green barley plus VAT.

While the IFA is battling for a price of €160/t, it is believed that Glanbia sources have privately indicated that a price of €156-157/t could be on offer. An additional €10/t is expected for green wheat.

It is understood that other merchants have been paying €158-160/t for green barley in the past week.

Irish grain continues to discount imported grain by about €20/t in the case of barley and €8-10/t in the case of wheat.

As a result, grain imports are expected to fall dramatically from the usual import total of 500,000-750,000t.

Milling wheat and some barley is expected to come in through the ports but it is highly unlikely that feed wheat will feature this year.

IFA grain chairman Noel Delany urged farmers who were not happy with the harvest prices offered to them to consider the option of drying and storing grain.

"There will be very little imported grain this year and it will be an Irish market only until Christmas," he said.

Harvesting is continuing in the northern half of the country this week. Yield reports have been mixed, with averages of 2.7t/ac for barley and very few crops making it to 3t/ac.

However, grain quality, in terms of grain size and bushel weights, is excellent.

Meanwhile, Glanbia has clarified that its 2012 price of €350/t for oilseed rape, quoted last week, was for green rape direct from the combine, payable in September.

Glanbia’s equivalent price for dried rape is €380/t.

The company will also pay a transport allowance on green rape delivered to the relevant drying points.

Green and dried prices for next year have now moved to around €360/t and €390/t respectively.

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