Currency, trade and Brexit scenarios: Grain Market Outlook Conference 2017

AHDB’s Grain Market Outlook Conference 2017 will look at how Brexit could affect UK grain markets and the implications for farmers and processors in UK supply chains.

Jack Watts, AHDB lead analyst, said: “This year’s Grain Market Outlook conference comes at a really interesting time, with currency, politics, stocks and a challenging harvest in the northern hemisphere.

“With so much going on at home, will have a more domestic approach than usual.”

The Grain Market Outlook Conference 2017 takes place on Wednesday 11 October at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London.


Currency, Jack said, is becoming more interesting with continued speculation that the pound will be at parity with the Euro by the end of this year or early into next year.

On a related theme, the strength of the Euro against the dollar is becoming an important talking point, especially what it will mean for one of the world’s largest wheat exporters – the EU.

Prices for oilseed rape have risen for producers, supported by currency movements.

“Oilseed rape is now the most influenced crop when it comes to currency.”


Wheat stocks available in the UK were around 50 per cent down at the end of June year-on-year, according to data from Defra.

“We know that it’s been a challenging growing season and harvest. The market will be waiting keenly to see what that meant for both yield and quality, as well as the implications for import demand, particularly for milling wheat.”

The grain market outlook presentation will look at the fine balance between imports and exports and the possibility of increasing reliance on the domestic crop.

“Add in the tariff implications in different Brexit scenarios and we could see the UK increasingly oscillating between import and export as traditional trade flows of cereals alter.”

Brexit scenarios

The conference will also see AHDB launch the latest Brexit analysis, assessing the impact of different Brexit scenarios on different farm types.

“Brexit analysis has largely focused at a high level, typically dealing in trade or farm policy generalities. We know that farmers need more detailed information than that, so we’ll be looking at Brexit from a business sector, size and performance perspective. Whether it’s price and production levels or the implications for the bottom line of the typical farm, it adds further context and more insight for the industry.”

This analysis is intended to describe the range of possible impacts for agriculture post-Brexit and identify the factors that will have the biggest influence over the outcomes.

“The modelling work will show that the global outlook for cereals and oilseeds is likely to become even more important to the UK. Right now, we know the challenging harvest in the northern hemisphere, particularly in terms of the availability of wheat in the US is an area to watch.”

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About The Author

John Swire - Editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.