Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Monday 25 March 2019

Agri inputs rise by 5pc in January 2019

Claire Fox

Claire Fox

Agricultural price inputs have increased by 5.7pc in January 2019 compared to the same period last year, according to latest figures from the Central Statistics Office.

The agricultural output price index was down 3.6pc in January 2019 compared with January 2018.

The agricultural output price index decreased by 0.9pc in January 2019 compared with December 2018. The agricultural input price index was up 0.1pc over the same period.

Thus, the resulting terms of trade index decreased by 0.9pc in January 2019.

A further comparison of the January 2019 output with the January 2018 shows that the largest decreases were in milk and cattle which were down 11.5pc and 8.5pc respectively.

On the input side, the biggest increases were in feeding stuffs and fertilisers which were up 11.3pc and 9.4pc respectively on January 2018 prices.

On an annual basis, the agricultural input price index increased by 5.7pc in January 2019 compared with January 2018.

The agricultural output price index was down 3.6pc in January 2019 compared with January 2018.

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This follows recent CSO figures which stated that the cattle industry lost €100m last year due to falling prices and a small drop in the volume of livestock processed.

The value fell from €2.36bn in 2017 to €2.26bn last year, figures show.

Farmers continue to count the cost of market uncertainty from Brexit, leaving some on the brink of leaving the industry.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures illustrate how exposed farm incomes are to the vagaries of the weather and market sentiment.

They show the operating surplus in agriculture dropped 16pc from €3.4bn in 2017 to €2.9bn in 2018.

It follows on the back of a difficult 2018, where farmers forked out an extra €357m on feed as they faced an expensive late spring, the 'Beast from the East' storm and the summer drought.

However, another key expense on Irish farms is fertiliser for which spending rose €69m to €582m.

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