AIB has forecast strong agricultural lending in 2024 on the back of projected improvements in markets, especially in dairying.

Responding to a query from the Irish Farmers Journal, AIB said: “We would expect to see strong lending activity to the agri sector again in 2024.

“The agri sector is a very important sector for the bank. It is one of our best performing loan books and we continue to have a positive outlook for the sector in 2024 and beyond.”

More certainty

The bank added that it expects there to be more certainty for farmers next year, which would allow for a stronger foundation for on-farm investment.

“The recent policy changes in relation to nitrates will bring more certainty for farmers considering investments.

“Farmers also are more aware now of their direct payments to 2027 and the potential impact of convergence, if any, on their business,” AIB said.

Permanent TSB (PTSB) is expecting an increase in its agricultural lending in 2024.

“We are forecasting an increase in our business lending portfolio in 2024 and farming and agribusiness lending will help drive this,” a statement from PTSB said.

Agribusiness is a key growth area for the bank and will remain so into the future, the statement added.

Both AIB and PTSB said delays to Targeted Agricultureal Modernisation Scheme (TAMS III) approvals had not impacted farm loans to date.

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