Agri Market Outlook: July 2020
Cutting through the uncertainty – Phil Bicknell, AHDB Market Intelligence Director
This is the fourth time that AHDB experts have combined their future views in to one outlook and it’s been the most challenging yet. Looking at production has probably been the easy part, even allowing for the impact of weather variations in the short term. When it comes to demand, however, uncertainty abounds. Coronavirus has impacted where we shop and how we eat, and the consequences on our economy are huge. We need to contend with potential trade deals with the EU and USA, with the bottom line being that changes to trade policy will change the patterns of agrifood imports and exports.
But it’s that uncertainty that makes a forward outlook so essential. Thousands of farm businesses will be taking a view of the future in their plans and budgets in these uncertain times. In this outlook, we review sector prospects for the coming 12-18 months and explore the longer term impact of economic and policy drivers on our industry.
Whenever I discuss our outlooks, there’s always one question that crops up – why bother, things will change, what do you do then? The answer is simple - we revisit our outlooks and update the numbers. Like any forecast, it’s based on a set of assumptions, particularly post coronavirus demand scenarios, and it’s inevitable that we’ll get new information and better data. In uncertain times, there’s always a reason to wait for more. However, it’s that same uncertainty that makes anticipating changes in our markets and businesses so vital. Knowing what changes are coming, assessing the potential impacts and planning ahead are all fundamental to preparing for the challenges that will impact our industry in future.
Take a look at this quick reference guide for an update on key market prices and trends across all sectors.
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.