The lack of goodwill from Brussels does not augur well for progress over food exports from Great Britain into the EU. This remains a one way issue, with trade effectively normal from the EU into the UK.
World food prices rose for a tenth consecutive month in March, hitting their highest level since June 2014. This is reflected in the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) global food price index.
The index was 118.5 against 116 in February. This confirms that key global markets, particularly in Asia, are in a strong post-Covid recovery phase.
The FAO also said in the report that Cereal prices dipped in March by 1.7 per cent after eight months of gains – but they remain almost 30% ahead of the same month last year.
Meanwhile, the EU is considering a new plan to break the stalemate in finalising its trade deal with the Mercosur countries of South America.
This group includes Brazil, and environmental problems there – including allegations of rainforests being cleared for agriculture – resulted in a number of EU member states blocking approval.
Tropical rainforest deforestation to clear land for plantations in Brazil.
This has been a boost for farmers, because it delayed imports of Brazilian beef at reduced or zero tariffs.
Now binding environmental targets have been suggested, which Brazil and others would have to meet for the Mercosur deal to remain in place, which could see it agreed in Europe by the end of the year.
The UK is keen to secure a trade deal with Brazil, but that will also face environmental criticism.
This could see the UK copy the EU approach, although Brazil may be less willing to compromise because its economic focus is on a deal with the EU.