The 2011/12 harvesting campaign got off to a positive start with sugar levels running at high percentages.
This follows good growing conditions as the summer progressed, although root yields are suffering in drought-affected parts of the growing region, says Andersons eastern director Nick Blake.
“The outlook for the season looks promising, and it is hoped that you will not be reading this with frozen beet in ground in mid-December.”
The crop remains profitable for many growers, and the introduction of whole beet delivery should bring increased yields. “The impending review of the four-year Inter Professional Agreement (IPA) should establish whether the current pricing mechanism is achieving its objectives. There could be amendments to the formula which would affect the price for the 2013 and 2014 crops,” he says.
The global sugar balance is ever changing, and the economic environment means that the EU could be encouraged to grow more sugar again. This could put the UK at a short-term disadvantage, given the contraction of the industry since 2006. However, if the right incentives are provided, scope does exist for production to be expanded, says Mr Blake.
• Promising harvest means profitable crops
• Impending interim review of IPA
• EU production expansion could affect prices
* Commentary for this article is based on Andersons’ Outlook 2012. Copies can be obtained free of charge by calling 01664 503200 or it can be downloaded from the Andersons website – see ‘Publications’.
* The Andersons Centre will be running its popular series of spring seminars on the prospects for UK agriculture in more depth at locations around the UK in spring 2012. These briefings are aimed at farm business managers as well as professionals working with companies in the agricultural sector. Detailed overviews of each of the main sectors of UK agriculture will be covered as well as comprehensive discussion of the latest agricultural policy developments. For details go to the Andersons Centre.