Boortmalt boss moots new approach on barley pricing

Malting barley farmer protest recently at the price they are receiving for their crop.
Malting barley farmer protest recently at the price they are receiving for their crop.
Claire Fox

Claire Fox

The MATIF pricing structure set for malting barley between Boortmalt and the IFA may not have been the right option, according to Boortmalt CEO Peter Nallen.

The FOB Creil malting barley price based at 20pc moisture for unscreened barley would be better than the MATIF contract used in recent years, he said during a tour of the company's Athy plant yesterday.

"MATIF is a milling wheat methodology. We gave it a go, it was tweaked where pricing of malting barley is based on 20pc moisture basis. We had couple of years where circumstances beyond our control caused that particular market to plummet at the wrong time, we don't take any satisfaction in that, it fell on the day," he said.

'Connectivity'

"In hindsight in the last 18 months perhaps MATIF wasn't the right one to pick. We have discussed changing from MATIF to FOB Creil which is a malting barley price that is used on the continent which will give growers better connectivity and compare like with like."

Meanwhile, Irish Grain Grower CEO Bobby Miller said that Irish malting barley producers are switching to growing winter and spring barley as the cost of inputs for malting barley is too high and the price received is too low.

"It's predicted that the area under malting barley will be at its lowest in 2019 and this is a poor reflection on those looking to buy malting barley," said Mr Miller.

"Farmers are once again facing in to a spring with no deal in place and inputs are costing €30/acre more this year and companies importing grain of questionable origin."

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