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Agribusiness News October 2023

Posted: Friday, 29 September 2023

Welcome to the October edition of Agribusiness News.  If you prefer to download this document click the download button.

N e w s  i n  b r i e f

U-turns turning heads

While Margaret Thatcher famously said in 1980, “This lady is not for turning”; fast forward to 2023 and political U-turns seem to be the order of the day.  It could be argued that with the current UK Government pushing back the ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars from 2030 to 2035, and the ban on gas boilers from 2025 also to 2035; it paved the way for a subsequent U-turn on commissioning new oil fields, starting with the new Rosebank field, 80 miles north of Shetland.

From an economic liberalisation standpoint, the U turns are being justified on the basis of creating new jobs in a currently flagging oil industry and reducing pressure on families struggling with high energy costs.  From a more cynical point of view, with car manufacturers still faced with the requirement that 80% of all new car sales must be electric by 2030, is the UK political focus more on next year’s elections rather than on the pledges made during COP26 to meet Net Zero Targets by 2050?

Following the announcement that the rate of inflation had fallen to 6.7% in August, the Bank of England’s decision to keep the base rate at 5.25% was welcome news for farming businesses.  However, with crop and milk prices having dropped sharply since last year; bank balances are still under pressure across the industry as we head into winter.

While tight supplies in the beef sector are bolstering prices both in the prime and store markets; the continued fall in suckler cow numbers remains a concern for the industry. Compared to the same period last year, the number of calves registered in the first half of 2023 fell to 1.53 million, a fall of 2.1%. Analysis of the registrations showed a rising number of calves from native breeds at the expense of continental breeds; a trend to watch for at Bull sales next spring.

In the face of a new ‘Aussie’ branding and a new global marketing campaign by Meat & Livestock Australia, this month’s sheep article highlights that we need to shout more about our high welfare, fully traceable and biodiversity boosting Scotch Beef and Lamb!

Next month:

  • Soil Health
  • Land Values

This month’s editor: Christine Beaton

ABN Oct Cover