The 2018 market kicked off on the 16th September last year at £150 for English Non-SDA. We are expecting the 2019 trade to start any day at the same level, having had offers in at £140 prior to the publication of the Agriculture Bill. Whilst confirming that BPS may come to an end by 2027, confidence is likely to rise in the market as now we know BPS will remain very much as is it is currently for at least an additional year until 2020.
At the start of 2018 trading we were confident of two more years of BPS and the market kicked off at £150/ha. With two years of BPS claims now confirmed for 2019 and 2020, and the exchange rate at a similar level, we expect the market to start at £150/ha for 2019 Non-SDA entitlement VAT registered sales.
Another positive factor is that we now effectively know that BPS may be around for up to nine years, longer than any past EU direct payment scheme and, as things develop, prices could head back towards pre-Brexit levels even if a lesser or reducing payment is be introduced. The 2016 average Non-SDA price was £192 and ranged between £140 and £240 per hectare for lots over 10 hectares for VAT registered sales.
Delinking may also increase demand for entitlements where farmers (or those able to claim again following the “Active Farmer” test being dropped last year i.e. airports, golf courses, etc.) may wish to ensure that they maximise their claims in 2019 and 2020 to try and position themselves to catch the Reference Period these could be linked to. This then would maximise any lump sum Delinked Payments. This could increase demand in 2019 and 2020 further and also restrict the supply as retiring farmers delay sales until after 2020.
Looking to 2021 there is also talk of increasing SDA and Moorland payment rates.