17 January 1996

EUfarm budget not fully spent

THE EUs 1996 farm budget hasbeen underspent by £1.42bn, according to latest figures from the Commission.

The shortfall results mainly from favourable grain market conditions in the first half of the year, with high cereal prices and a period of export taxes.

The dairy sector saw a 4% underspend, as super-levy brought in more cash than expected. Butter export refunds were also lower than forecast, following a decline in exports.

Sheepmeat expenditure, meanwhile, was down 9% as Italy and Greece failed to use all their extra premium rights.

In the case of beef, extra funds were allocated to deal with the BSE crisis. But the lack of incineration facilities for destroying cattle in the UK, meant not all compensation has been paid, and left expenditure under forecast.

Expenditure on beef export refunds is also down due to a fall in exports in the wake of BSE.