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Agri Market Outlook: November 2019

Another year, another period of prolonged uncertainty and erratic weather conditions.

Weather impacts every decision a farmer or grower will make. The effects of the elements can sometimes be felt for days, weeks, months and even years. It can determine the success of agricultural activities, impact livestock numbers and crop yields, cause colossal production and financial losses, and determine how much food we’ll have for both domestic and export markets. From on-farm through the entire food supply chain, there isn’t a single strand of the agricultural industry removed from the risk of severe weather. And whatever your take on climate change, one thing is clear – weather patterns are becoming more erratic and it’s this unpredictability that makes weather one of the biggest threats to agriculture.

From a policy perspective, 2019 seems to have been an extension of 2018, as two Brexit deadlines came and went. Policy has a big impact on agriculture, with the farm support regime and terms of trade heavily influenced by decisions taken by policy-makers.

Over the last decade, farming has faced the challenge of adapting to market uncertainty. As we look to 2020 and beyond, we need to add future policy to that list of uncertainties. In particular, for our industries, there is still no clarity on the trade environment, and it is this uncertainty that could see UK markets temporarily diverge from global trends.

So what does all of that mean for our industries and your business?

This outlook is based on the latest data available, combining feedback and insight from contacts across the agri-food industry with AHDB sector specialists’ expertise. Whether you’re using it for business planning, aiming to understand the market dynamics or just interested in a flavour of what agriculture faces in the year ahead, we hope you find it useful and informative.

It should be noted that the information in these outlook reports is based on information currently available but still involves risks, variables and uncertainties. Agricultural markets are highly volatile, often unpredictable, and unforeseen factors can have a major impact on production and prices. Consequently, no guarantee is given to the accuracy of the outlooks, but they are simply put forward as our best estimates at the time of publication.

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