CSO: Agri input and output prices up well in 2017

The latest agricultural input and output price statistics have been released, showing an increase in January for both month-on-month and year-on-year comparisons, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

The agricultural input price index increased by 1% in January 2018 compared with December 2017, it was revealed. Meanwhile, the agricultural output price index increased by 0.8% over the same period, the CSO found.

The resulting terms of trade index consequently decreased by 0.2% in the first month of this year.

On an annual basis, the agricultural output price index was up 5.1% in January 2018 compared with the same month in 2017. The agricultural input price index increased by 1.8% in January 2018 compared with the same period in the previous year.

A further comparison of the January 2018 output sub-indices with the January 2017 sub-indices shows that the largest increase was sheep – which was up 8.3%.

Source: Central Statistics Office

On the input side, the biggest increase was unsurprisingly in fertilisers – which were up 7% on January 2017 prices.

MIlkFlex gets green light for national roll-out

Meanwhile, earlier in the week Finance Ireland announced that plans are in place to make the MilkFlex loan product available through participating co-ops across Ireland.

The new facility – supported by funding from the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) and Rabobank – will offer flexible, competitively-priced loans to dairy farmers with repayments linked to movements in milk price.

The previous scheme provided €64 million in loans to dairy farmer members of Glanbia Co-op since its launch in July 2016.

Key features of the MilkFlex product include:

  • It will provide milk suppliers in the Republic of Ireland with a funding product that helps to protect cash flow from the impact of milk price volatility;
  • It will feature in-built ‘flex triggers’ that can adjust the repayment terms in response to movements in milk price and disease outbreak;
  • Repayments will also be adjusted to allow for seasonality;
  • These features combine to provide cash flow relief to farmers when most needed;
  • It will be facilitated through participating co-ops around Ireland, with Finance Ireland originating the loans backed by finance provided by ISIF and Rabobank;
  • It allows for investment in on-farm productive assets to support an existing or growing dairy farm enterprise (including dairy livestock, milking platform infrastructure and land improvement);
  • New categories, relating to milk production, are being included in the MilkFlex national roll-out that were not available in the past such as:
    → Investment in on-farm energy efficiency and renewable energy;
    → Environmental Investments;
    → Agricultural technologies that deliver on-farm efficiencies