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Farm and Food September 2016

Published: Oct 14, 2016
  • Nielsen data has revealed that prices for everyday grocery items in Ireland have risen for the fifth consecutive quarter.  In just the 3 months to June, prices of fast moving goods such as milk and packaged goods increased 1.3% YoY.  In general, prices at the tills have increased 2.6% which is the 4th highest since the surveys began 8 years ago.

  • Lidl has reported a record 11.9% share of Ireland’s grocery market in the 12 weeks to August 14th. 

  • Lamb prices for 2016 are up 20c/kg on 2015 prices. 

  • Milk Prices – continued optimism that a sustainable upturn is occurring in Global Dairy markets.  EU’s voluntary milk reduction measures expects to reduce output by 1.1bn litres over the coming months.  Irish farmers produced 699m litres of milk in 2015.

  • The craft beer sector in Ireland has enjoyed a sensational quadrupling of microbreweries over the last 4 years.  It is expected that turnover for 2016 will rise 50% vs 2015.

  • The amount of food and drink sold aboard in 2015 hit a record €10.8bn with dairy accounting for 30% of all exports.  Ireland enjoyed favourable exchange rates back then.  However 2016 is due to show a different story following the Brexit fallout.  Large volumes of sales will not automatically mean larger profits.  The UK remains Ireland’s largest market accounting for 41% of all food and drink being exported, with a value of approx. €4.4bn.  in 2014, the percentage was 39%.  Ireland currently exports to 175 countries around the world. 

  • Mushroom farms are under increasing stress following the Brexit vote with two producers closing their premises as a direct result of the weakened sterling with another 5 in the line for closure during the rest of September/October.  There are calls for government intervention.  Many mushrooms growers export to the UK however according to a report in the Farming Independent, there is increased competition from Northern Ireland mushroom growers.

  • Dairy herds in the US are now averaging 900 cows which will lead to increased milk production.  The US is already one of the world’s largest milk producers.

  • Teagasc held its National Crops Forum in early September and cautioned tillage growers to keep tight controls around rentals and expenditure as average incomes were forecast to drop 40% in 2016. 

  • Tesco & Dunnes Stores are now neck and neck in the grocery retail market each holding 21.6% of market share.  Supervalu remains the highest at 22.4%.  Aldi & Lidl are 11.4% and 11.7% respectively.  Grocery inflation was 2.2% for the period of 12 weeks to 11th September.

  • Centra is investing €24m in its Irish stores by overhauling 150 stores and focussing on a healthier food, including a new bakery range.  Centra currently has 460 stores in Ireland.

  • Budget proposals for farmers include reducing nursing home fees by removing part of all of the value of farm assets from the Fair Deal system.  

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