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Latest EU farm income figures hint at a more prosperous future

UK - Already slightly uplifted by rising farm income levels reported by the agricultural departments, farmers and growers may be able to take some added comfort from figures just released by the European Commission directorate general for agriculture and a British bank.

Farm income is projected to rise by almost a quarter between 2005 and 2013 across the enlarged EU according to the commission, although this is expected to be a slightly more modest 9.3 per cent for the EU-15.

Cereals are at the top of the leader board "thanks to the expansion of domestic consumption and cereal exports", not to mention the growth of demand for biofuels and biomass.

"On the other hand, feed demand would stagnate and then slightly decline due to the increasing use of protein feeds residues from biofuel production," it says.

World demand was expected to grow which would result in a relatively balanced cereal market over the medium term. Market perspectives for the EU oilseed sector were forecast to be supported by productivity increases, favourable conditions on world markets and the increasing demand for biodiesel in the EU. This would also dictate the EU would continue to remain a large net importer of oilseeds.

Total per capita meat consumption is projected to rise by 1.5 per cent over the period, with "relatively positive" prospects for poultry and pigmeat although beef and sheepmeat are expected to continue downwards in line with the structural problems, leading to increased imports.

Source: The Scotsman

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