Farming: Economist warns grain trade issues may hit returns

Speaking at yesterday’s Arable Scotland event, the SRUC’s senior rural business consultant, Julian Bell, pointed to the effect which the lifting of the US tariffs on malt whisky exports could have on the demand for both malting barley and wheat, along with the steady global recovery from the Covid pandemic.

“So far this year there has been a substantial increase in the usage of wheat by distillers – with an additional 13 per cent or 80,000 tonnes being used to date.” He said that this was partly due to the high price of maize – and with more distillers switching to using home grown wheat he raised the possibility of the Scottish crop regaining the premium payments which it had lost in recent years.

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