Scottish farm debt increases by 4 per cent

Scottish farm debt increases by 4 per cent

Outstanding debt of Scottish farms increased four per cent over the past year according to new Scottish Government figures, marking the sixth consecutive annual increase in Scottish farm debt.

Data released by Scotland’s chief statistician, based on a survey of the main banks and other lending institutions, showed outstanding loans to Scottish farms rose by £73 million in the year to May 31, 2015.

Total outstanding loans to the agricultural sector amounted to £2.03 billion. Accounting for inflation, this was an increase of three per cent since May 2014.

After remaining steady for a decade during the 2000s, farm debt levels have now risen to their highest since the late 1980s.

Figures from the Bank of England showed that, by May 2015, the UK “agricultural, hunting and forestry” sector had seen a 42 per cent increase in debt levels since 2010.

The only other sector that had seen an increase was utilities, which increased 33 per cent, with all other sectors seeing a reduction in outstanding debt.

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