The EU agricultural outlook, published once a year, presents the outlook for major EU agricultural markets, income and environment from now until 2031. It is based on a set of assumptions regarding macroeconomic conditions, the fixed agricultural and trade policy environment, and international market developments.

These assumptions imply relatively smooth market developments when in reality, markets tend to be much more volatile. Therefore, the outlook is not a forecast. More precisely, the projections correspond to the average trends agricultural markets are expected to follow in a given macroeconomic environment, if policies were to remain unchanged.

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About the report

Image showing farm animals and agricultural crops

The report covers the EU in its current composition (EU-27). It presents the medium-term outlook for the EU's agricultural markets, income and environment from now until 2031, based on a set of coherent macroeconomic assumptions considered to be most accurate at the time of the analysis. The following elements were updated on 11 November 2021:

  • oil prices;
  • population forecasts (based on IHS Markit);
  • the USD/EUR exchange rate;
  • GDP forecasts (based on the Commission’s forecast).

As many EU countries are yet to submit their common agricultural policy (CAP) strategic plans as part of the new CAP (due to begin in 2023), projections assume a continuation of current agricultural and trade policies. In the same vein, the level of ambition stemming from policy initiatives such as the European Green Deal and in particular, the targets of the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies, is yet to be reflected in the CAP strategic plans. As a consequence, these are not taken into account. Budget figures related to the 2021-27 multiannual financial framework were updated.

No new free trade agreements have been added since last year. The relationship between the EU-27 and the UK is based on the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, provisionally applied from 1 January 2021. A duty-free/quota-free trade relationship is assumed, with some short-term trade disruptions due to additional border checks and logistical issues only taken into account in the 2022 forecast. World Trade Organization tariff-rate quotas were re-calculated, following their apportionment to the EU-27 and the UK respectively.

The report is accompanied by analysis of a selected set of market uncertainties in order to measure the potential for variation in the results. Possible variations stem in particular from fluctuations in the macroeconomic environment, and in yields of the main crops and milk. Specific scenarios are also presented for a reduction of fat in diets (following World Health Organization recommendations) and self-sufficiency of China in animal products.

As part of the preparatory process, an external review of the baseline and the scenarios around market uncertainties was conducted at an outlook workshop, which took place online on 20-21 October 2021. During this event, valuable input was provided by:

  • high-level policy makers;
  • European and international modelling and market experts;
  • private companies;
  • international organisations, including the OECD and the FAO;
  • other stakeholders.

This Commission report is a joint effort between the Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development and the Joint Research Centre, with the Directorate-General being responsible for the content.

As uncertainties around ;macroeconomic developments and trade relations in the next 10 years remain high, it is important to highlight that this medium-term outlook presents a baseline for any future analytical and scenario work, which would allow different development paths to be tested.



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