6 December 2001
Outlook for 2002 ‘grim’ – Andersons
By Tom Allen-Stevens
THE current state of the industry is grim, and prospects for 2002 are not much better, according to farm consultants Andersons.
Head of research Francis Mordaunt said figures from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs were somewhat misleading.
“Last years figure of total income from farming (TIFF) was revised down from 1.88 billion to 1.75bn, making this years rise look good.
“The fact that its a revised figure has not been pointed out anywhere, so really the whole thing is a bit of government spin,” he said.
Mr Mordaunt was speaking at the launch of Andersons Outlook, the companys annual analysis of the state of the industry.
Average net farm income for cereal farms will fall to a low of just 4400 for 2000/01, he told visitors at the Agrivision event, Stoneleigh.
“There has been an upturn in TIFF, but this is largely due to an improvement in the dairy, potato and vegetable sectors,” he said.
“For the majority of farmers, the only improvement in profits will come about from cost-cutting.”
The main factor that could bring about a recovery is currency, he pointed out, and there are no signs of a weakening Pound.
“The UK economy is now looking stronger than the Eurozone, and there is little prospect of the Euro strengthening in 2002 on economic grounds alone.”
The strong Pound cost the average 1000-acre cereal farmer 30,000 a year in subsidies, before factoring in lower grain prices, said Mr Mordaunt.
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