This monthly paper brings together the latest key information relating to agriculture and the wider economy. In particular it highlights the results of recently published economic and statistical evidence and research.
Headlines this month include:
Average Farm Business Income is expected to fall across most farm types (with the exception of poultry, where income is unchanged) in 2012/13 as the effect of the poor growing season and harvest is felt across both the cropping and livestock sectors. The falls forecast are substantial for dairy (42 per cent), lowland livestock (44 per cent), LFA livestock (52 per cent) and specialist pigs (50 per cent). Global values for maize, wheat and soya increased sharply in the early summer of 2012 in response to the US drought. Grain and oilseed markets in the UK followed suit and since harvest have remained firm. This has offset to some extent the impact of the poor weather on arable incomes which are expected to fall by around 11 per cent.
The farmgate milk price has remained at a record high in December 2012 at 30.08 pence per litre; this is a 3 per cent rise on December 2011. Despite the usual seasonal increase, the provisional volume of wholesale milk delivered to dairies was 5.6 per cent down on last year, as poor grazing conditions and high feed prices continue to affect supplies. Milk production is at its lowest level for 9 years.
The annual rate of food price inflation fell slightly to 3.8 per cent in December and is well above general CPI inflation which has remained at 2.7 per cent for three consecutive months.