Thinking about Farming during 2020, no one can escape the effects being seen from Coronavirus, with some producers affected significantly more than others. The average output from Agriculture in 2020 is anticipated to stay stable, but there are extremes from this. Milk price for April 2020 has ranged from generally 17p to 32p (ignoring the very worst extremes). Laying birds tend to be performing better than average, Broilers less well due in part to social distancing processor measures. Arable tends to be reasonable, although malting barley is showing a reduced value, while Potatoes, particularly for chippers have took a downturn. For red meat, so far in 2020, prices on average have been reasonable in some weeks, poorer in others. Pigs are also performing reasonably well too.
Turning the alphabet back from “C” to “B”, Brexit is back on the agenda, and “A” standing for the Agriculture Bill!
The UK Government on Tuesday 19th May published the Agricultural UK Tariff rates in the event of a No Deal Brexit – these can be found at https://ahdb.org.uk/uk-and-eu-import-tariffs-under-no-deal-brexit with the brief overview being –
- Beef – roughly half of EU rates
- Sheep – as per current EU rates
- Pigmeat – significant reduction to EU rates
- Poultry – generally a 40% reduction to current EU rates
- Dairy – some are tariff free, others being hugely reduced from current EU rates
- Potatoes – no tariffs, with the EU currently having tariff rates
- Horticultural products – tariff free with the exception of beans & bananas, a reduction on EU rates
- Cereals – tariff free except Palm Oil, again a reduction to EU rates
In essence, the UK is in most sectors undercutting EU rates. Hopefully keeping the Sheep meat rates at current EU levels does not have an impact on Ovine trade.
The Agriculture Bill has now passed Parliament, so ELMS is coming onto the horizon. Expected first in ELMS is Countryside Stewardship, followed by large scale Environmental projects and then projects to tackle Carbon Footprints. We will have to wait and see when applications open – National Pilot in late 2021, and full ELMS in 2024.