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 27 jul 2019 13:29 

The European farmers’ sentiment barometer

Prior to the Mercosur trade deal agreement, the European farmers’ sentiment barometer showed positive developments in the first half of 2019.
The confidence survey carried out in ten EU Member States in the spring of 2019 showed some positive developments, with the confidence index rising after two years of stagnation and decrease.

EU farmers' index (7484.7 Kb)

Farmers’ outlook on their future economic situation is also somewhat more optimistic than their assessment of the state of play. However, it is important to take note that the survey data was compiled prior to the provisional Mercosur deal agreement and the heatwave currently impacting Europe.
The majority of farmers from the ten EU countries indicated that both the current and the future economic situation are improving. This could probably be attributed to the fact that after a challenging year, farmers are seeing an alleviation of their difficulties. Of course, it will be important to see how weather conditions develop. 

Furthermore, the majority of farmers did not have any issues when running the farm this spring. This is particularly true for Germany, where almost 70% of German farmers indicated this, while for Hungary and Italy, 50% of the farmers were of this opinion. Where farmers did have issues, these were mostly related to weather conditions and market prices. 

It is of utmost importance to underline that, even if not expressed in this barometer, the recent political agreement with the Mercosur countries is certain to have a negative impact on farmers’ sentiment in the second half of the year. The detrimental impact of ongoing Brexit negotiations on UK farmers is also not shown in this survey as they will have the next results in autumn. According to the results from previous periods however, their outlook is dire. 

This, together with the uncertainty surrounding the CAP and EU budget and the complicated Brexit negotiations with the threat of a no-deal scenario, will be sure to also heavily impact farmers’ moods.

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