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Cereal Sector.

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 11 March 2010

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Questions (202)

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

200 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food the extent to which cereal prices to the producer here are comparable to the prices prevailing in other EU member states; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12186/10]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food)

Details of prevailing producer prices for cereals across Member States are not readily available. The most recent information is contained in an EU Commission report published last year entitled ‘Agriculture in the European Union — Statistical and economic information 2008'. This provides details of producer prices for certain cereals in some Member States over 4 years. The information on cereals prices is at Section 4.1.5.1 of the report, which may be accessed at the following website: http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/agrista/2008/table_en/index.htm. Since Ireland is a deficit market for cereals, prices here are greatly influenced by EU and world market conditions. In 2007, for example, when world grain market prices were driven up by increased demand from the biofuels sector and from the new emerging markets like China and India, prices in Ireland also increased to record levels. Growers here reacted to the high prices by increasing the acreage sown and this resulted in a bumper harvest in 2008.

Similarly when world prices subsequently declined, this trend was mirrored in Ireland. Despite a significant drop in Irish grain production in 2009, grain prices also declined and on average were 30% lower than the 2008 level. Within the EU, market management policy for the cereals market is determined within the framework of the CAP. The intervention mechanism provides a safety-net in the event that market prices go below the intervention price. In Ireland market prices have remained well above the intervention level and there have been no offers into intervention in recent years, in contrast to the situation in many other Member States.

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