The Week Ahead in International Trade: Parliamentary meetings, grain crunch talks and French inflation stats

Mon 25 Mar 2024
Posted by: Benjamin Roche

Parliament rises for its Easter recess on Wednesday (27 March) before a return on 15 April, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to watch out for in the world of trade.

Parliament proceedings

On Wednesday, parliament rises and will no longer be in session until 14 April. However, until then:

  • The UK’s economic security will be in the spotlight today, as the National Security Strategy Joint Committee analyses the risks and vulnerabilities to the UK’s supply chains following the government’s publication of its Critical Imports and Supply Chain Strategy
  • The House of Lords debates food security on Tuesday (26 March) and holds its third reading of the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill
  • The Justice and Home Affairs Committee will take evidence on electronic border management systems, and there will be a session of the European Affairs Committee on the adequacy of data on the UK-EU relationship


Tuesday is also the day that Offshore Energies UK (OEUK) publishes its Business Outlook report, which it calls “the only comprehensive review of UK industry performance and a sector outlook for the coming years”. Last year’s edition paid special attention to the offshore wind energy and other technologies being developed in efforts to decarbonise UK energy.

Wednesday is another day of statistics, meanwhile, as the Bank of England (BoE) publishes its monthly capital issuance stats, detailing the bonds and equities issued in the UK over the last month.

Good Friday means financial markets are closed this coming Friday, with few figures being published compared to other weeks. There will still be time for a release of French consumer price index (CPI) inflation figures, however, marking the next milestone in France’s efforts to get its inflation rate under control, which is taking longer than expected.

Grain saga continues

Another episode follows in one of Europe’s most headline-grabbing trade disputes on Thursday (28 March), as Poland and Ukraine meet to discuss the export of the latter’s grain without tariffs into the EU market.

Polish farmers have been protesting for months about what they see as unfair competition, with imports from the war-torn country undercutting them on price.

It’s part of a wave of protests by farmers across Europe, from Paris to Powys.

Other dates for the diary

Monday: Final deadline for representations regarding the acquisition of Telegraph Media Group

Tuesday: Rishi Sunak answers Liaison Committee questions, including likely queries on the state of the UK economy

Wednesday: Bank of England publishes its Financial Policy Committee summary for March

Thursday: Germany and Japan publish employment figures

Friday: Year anniversary of Russian arrest of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich

Saturday: World Meteorological Day

Sunday: Easter Sunday