The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) has produced a report on the outlook for UK agriculture but the report’s author warns that forecasts could change depending on the outcome of Brexit.
The report, entitled Agri-market Outlook, considers production and trade prospects for each sector whilst assuming that a trade deal will be done with the European Union.
The AHDB suggests that the publication can be used by farmers and growers to plan their businesses or to better understand the dynamics of their allied industries.
On the subject of meat production, the report predicts that there will be an increase in the production of pork in 2019, with UK supply looking ‘stable’ as exports grow and imports fall. However, it is a different story for beef, with a possible threat from higher Polish beef exports.
Meanwhile, in 2019, a similar-sized lamb crop to this year is expected both globally and in the UK. However, the report suggests that the domestic supply of lamb will return to a more typical seasonal pattern.
The report also predicts downward pressure on dairy prices from this month, but a reinvigoration of interest in dairy among younger consumers could help the market. In fact, changing consumer trends, particularly among younger people, are seen as an important thread throughout the report.
Whatever the Brexit deal, prices look uncertain for cereals because of competitively priced maize. The background is similarly uncertain with oilseeds and the AHDB warns that conditions could change quickly.
Finally, as far as potatoes are concerned, delayed planting and a four per cent drop in planted areas mean that supply is looking tight for the remainder of the season. However, the report points out that despite the long-term pressure from competing carbohydrates, consumers bought more potatoes during the year to the end of May 2018 than in the year before.