SFP exchange rate worth extra £16m sterling to NI

The View from Northern Ireland: The exchange rate to be used to calculate this year’s single farm payments (SFP) will be worth around £16m sterling more than last year’s rate for farmers in Northern Ireland

Sterling payments for the 2013 SFP will be made using the exchange rate of €1 = £0.83605, it was confirmed yesterday in the Official Journal of the European Union. SFPs are set in euro and converted to sterling each year using the exchange rate calculated in accordance with the European Union regulations. The rate is the market rate, according to the European Central Bank, on 30 September of the year concerned.

Noting the exchange rate, Northern Ireland Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill said: “When my decision not to apply voluntary modulation is taken into account, this year’s situation is more favourable by around £16m sterling than last year. It will therefore have a positive effect on the amount of SFP received by claimants. This is good news for local farm businesses, particularly in the context of all the other pressures on income and frequently increasing costs for farmers. SFP is a highly significant element of farm incomes and I remain committed to ensuring that payments are issued to local farmers as early as possible.”

Under EU regulations the department is permitted to commence processing full payments in December 2013. The payment timetable and processing targets for the 2013 year will be published in November.

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