The euro exchange rate for calculating Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) 2018 payments has been set, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has announced.

Revealed today (Friday, September 28), the rate -which is an average of the European Central Bank exchange rates set in September – will be €1 = £0.89281.

This is down slightly on last year’s exchange rate, but up on 2016 levels.

BPS payments for the UK are set in euros and then converted into sterling.

The previous years’ exchange rates for BPS were:

  • BPS 2017: €1 = £0.89470;
  • BPS 2016: €1 = £0.85228.

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) will make full payments on BPS 2018 claims from the beginning of December, Defra confirmed.

RPA makes all payments directly into bank accounts by BACS transfer.

NFU Scotland reaction

NFU Scotland director of policy, Jonnie Hall, commented on the exchange rate announcement.

“The 2018 rate is based on the average exchange rate across the whole month of September, the fourth year this has happened.

“The decrease of 0.21% follows a 5% increase in 2017 which came on top of the 17% increase in the value of the euro seen in 2016.

“Although a weak sterling is good news for support payments and strengthens the competitiveness of UK exports, the downside can be higher priced imported inputs such as fertiliser, animal feed and machinery.

As recent lending figures showed, farmers and crofters continue to need every pound and euro in what has been an extremely challenging year for all sectors.

“Applications to the first round of Scottish Government loan scheme letters close today and I urge all still to opt in to forge ahead with that as soon as possible.”

Hall added that the new exchange rate will be factored into the 90% BPS/Greening awards, with money expected to arrive in bank accounts within the coming weeks.

“That eases cash flow worries and allows bills to be settled and purchases to be made as we move into an uncertain winter.”