Robust demand for agri-commodities whereas excessive prices issues stay

Demand is ready to stay sturdy for many UK agri-commodities in 2022 in a worldwide market of tight provide and growing consumption, in accordance with the most recent AHDB Agri-Market Outlook.

Curiosity is especially excessive in wheat and oilseed rape, whereas fortunes are extra blended for livestock farmers.

Sky-high enter prices, particularly fertiliser and gasoline, are unlikely to drop any time quickly, stated AHDB advisers, inflicting concern for each sector.

See additionally: How farm collaboration can lower prices and improve effectivity

Sarah Baker, AHDB financial strategist, stated the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit have scarred the financial system, inflicting everlasting modifications which are slowing down its potential to return to “regular”.

In agriculture, this may be seen in provide chain administration and client behaviour, with prospects having to be extra cautious about what they purchase, particularly throughout this era of inflation.

Inflation doesn’t have an effect on everybody or each sector equally, however meals and non-alcoholic drinks have been affected extra.

This comes at a time of upper prices for farming companies and stress to extend wages.

A superb quantity of fertiliser has already been purchased, so the principle problem now can be with deliveries and whether or not they arrive on time, stated AHDB economics and evaluation director David Eudall.

A decrease charge of software is anticipated, leaving yields depending on how beneficial climate circumstances are in the important thing rising months, however different international locations’ farmers are in the identical boat.

As well as, incomes are dealing with the squeeze from Fundamental Cost Scheme reductions, that are set to lower by one other 20-40% this 12 months.

Many companies are nonetheless within the “wait and see” part, however the AHDB has inspired farmers to contemplate their choices, akin to different earnings streams.

“This isn’t occurring a number of years down the road – we’re in it now and folks must act accordingly,” stated Mr Eudall.


Wheat provides stay tight, each domestically and globally, supporting costs, stated Vikki Campbell, arable market specialist supervisor. It’s anticipated to stay this fashion till new-crop shares begin to come on-line later within the 12 months.

The UK space for winter wheat has elevated a contact as a consequence of good drilling circumstances, leading to spring cropping intentions dropping barely.

Crops are trying in good situation, however any fertiliser software discount or delay as a consequence of excessive prices might nonetheless impact yields.

Throughout the three major markets, demand stays excessive, with animal feed producers preferring wheat to barley, and the backlog of animals on farm growing demand.

The UK’s second bioethanol plant is ready to return on-line within the subsequent few months, which might enhance the necessity for wheat, though imported maize may be simpler to supply than wheat.

An extra improve in demand from brewers, maltsters and distillers can also be anticipated.

Oilseed rape

Rapeseed provide appears to be like set to be tight for the remainder of the season, stated Ms Campbell.

A slight rebound within the UK oilseed rape planted space for harvest 2022 has been recorded, nevertheless it stays the second-lowest acreage this century.

The rise could be very regional, relying on the prevalence of cabbage stem flea beetle.


There are two major themes for livestock sectors, stated Chris Gooderham, head of dairy and livestock market specialist, with the primary being excessive enter prices placing stress on companies.

The second includes the easing of Covid-19 restrictions and the way this impacts demand, with shoppers preferring home merchandise at retail, and extra imports being consumed out of the house.


GB milk manufacturing is forecast to finish the 2021-22 season on 31 March barely down (1.2%) on the 12 months, with solely modest development within the 2022 calendar 12 months (0.3%), as excessive enter prices and labour scarcity have an effect on yields, stated Mr Gooderham.

Tight world milk provides are anticipated to maintain worldwide markets supported, although milk value will increase are solely considerably serving to to counter prices.

UK imports will possible be up in contrast with 2021, as food-service demand returns.


Beef manufacturing is forecast to develop 1% this 12 months as extra prime cattle turns into obtainable as a result of one-time shift of extra youngstock. A gradual decline within the herd dimension is predicted in the long run.

Total beef consumption is anticipated to lower 1% as pre-Covid issues about well being and the surroundings return.

Beef imports are anticipated to extend 1% as a consequence of elevated food-service demand, whereas exports will rise by greater than 10%.


Complete sheepmeat manufacturing is anticipated to extend 12% on the 12 months to 294,600t, however this can be a carry on an unusually low 2021, stated Mr Gooderham.

Regardless of the same old Easter surge and the easing of restrictions, home demand is anticipated to fall, as lamb has misplaced menu share and has a excessive value level.

Lamb imports are forecast to stay low as New Zealand continues to pivot in direction of China and transport prices stay excessive.

Complete world lamb provides stay tight as New Zealand and Australia proceed to rebuild flocks, and UK exports might develop by 5%.


“The present stress on the pork sector is immense, with a excessive backlog at precisely the time of 12 months you don’t need it by way of prices, and unlikely to cut back any time quickly,” stated Mr Gooderham.

Nevertheless, a lower within the herd general is anticipated by the tip of 2022, resulting in a 2% fall in UK pigmeat manufacturing.

Costs are forecast to stay low till numbers lower within the UK and EU – which is beginning to occur in Germany – however costs are nonetheless far larger within the UK than on the continent.

Export markets stay difficult, with Chinese language demand slowing and a weak EU market.

UK demand is anticipated to weaken barely (-2%) , though falling manufacturing, recovering food-service demand and elevated exports (+9%) might all assist.

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