We all knew the expression when growing up about testing the patience of a saint.

The European Commission, in its latest short term market forecast report, said the 'resilience' of farmers was being tested across all sectors. This, despite a multi-million euro aid package for farmers, which member states are under pressure to top up and some easing of input costs from the record highs of last year.

The report added that while some input costs were lower, farmers remained in a squeeze between these and falling farm gate prices. The result, it said, was that many were experiencing severe cash flow problems.

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Food price inflation is calculated to account for 40% of the overall inflation rate in the eurozone. The report warned that consumers were reacting in ways that may become permanent, with an inevitable impact on farmers.

These actions have been all around trying to stretch shopping budgets, with a switch from the major retailers to discount stores and trading down from premium to more basic products. It said this had directly affected demand for dairy products, fruit, vegetables and organic food.

This latter demand drop is an interesting admission, given the commission's ambitious plans to have 25% of EU agricultural production organic by 2030. The report confirmed that no matter how much Brussels seeks to skew support in favour of organic production, it was more costly and consumers were not prepared to pay the premium when budgets at home are under pressure.

The report was written before much of Europe, literally, began to burn under record-making heatwaves. These new conditions have erased memories of last year when severe droughts were also a problem in key production areas.

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This had an impact on cereal yields, which were expected to be reversed this year. That remains to be seen as temperatures soar, but even before the heatwaves, the weather had taken its toll, in the shape of a cold, wet slow spring.

It is this combination of a cost/price squeeze and weather conditions that confirm climate change, that are in the commission's words 'testing the resilience' of farmers. The problem is that there are no obvious solution to either problem – the weather cannot be controlled and farmers are experiencing market changes with no obvious solutions.

The demand for food is inelastic, in that it is not price sensitive. But we are being reminded that the demand for the higher value products that generate money for the food chain is a lot more elastic and temperamental than people believed.

The report's forecast of a 5% increase in cereals and an 8% increase in oilseeds, would help bring production back towards the five-year average. That could be blown off course by the impact of extreme heat in July.

One certainly is that, yet again, the picture for meat, other than poultry, is depressing and this has not been helped by the trading down we have seen. The report said production and demand for beef had yet again been in a firmly downwards direction and with nothing to drive a positive change, the report says this will continue.

If weather and consumer demand are fickle, and difficult to respond to, geopolitical events are an even bigger unknown. This is certainly the case with Russia's decision not to extend the deal allowing grain exports from the Black Sea ports.

This is because the EU and other power blocs refused to back down and lift restrictions on Russian agricultural exports, imposed over its actions in Ukraine.

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It remains to be seen what impact this will have on grain prices, given that the Russian decision ultimately came as no surprise and had been factored in. What is certain is that it will hit some of the world's poorest countries hardest.

They depend on grain imports and were the major beneficiaries of exports from Ukraine while the Black Sea ports deal was in place. Moscow clearly hopes that in desperation they will be forced to import from its plentiful grain stocks from a bumper 2022 harvest, helping to undermine already shaky global unity over sanctions.

The action should not affect Ukrainian exports to the EU, which benefit from so-called solidarity lanes for road and rail exports through EU member states, with customs checks streamlined and tariffs waived.

Once again this confirmed that, in a global context, it is always the poor that suffer the consequences of global political tensions.