Business World

Monday 19 March 2018

Commodity prices push UK farmland prices to peak

Simon Packard

Agricultural land values in Britain climbed to a record in the first half as higher livestock and grain prices encouraged farmers to increase production, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said.

The average cost of an acre of bare land, terrain without built structures, rose to £6,115 (€7,000) from £5,846 at the end of 2010, the fourth straight increase for a six-month period, the London-based group said in a report yesterday.

Prices have more than doubled in the last five years, RICS said.

"Many commercial farmers appear more keen to expand their businesses than sell their land," spokeswoman Sue Steer said. "This can only lead to even higher prices over the next 12 months."

Prices for British-grown feed wheat traded in London have climbed 11pc during the past year, while reduced swine and cattle herds lifted meat prices by 7.2pc in June from a year earlier, UK National Statistics data showed.

Higher prices for food and other commodities will probably continue to bolster land values, according to Steer.

Arable land appreciated by 4.9pc and pastures by 4.2pc an acre since the end of last year, according to RICS.

The report showed both the number of transactions and acreage sold fell, while brokers said demand for agricultural land is also being driven by investors seeking a refuge from turbulence in global financial markets. (Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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