2019 in figures: How did agri prices, production and margins fare?

The Central Statistics Office’s (CSO’s) final estimate of operating surplus in agriculture in 2019 shows an annual increase of €110.7 million – equating to a rise of 3.8%. However, agricultural prices decreased over the same period.

Published today, Friday, July 31, the office’s estimate noted that the total surplus was up from €2.94 billion in 2018 to €3.055 billion last year.

This increase is in line with the trends shown by other CSO short-term indicators in agriculture.

Source: Central Statistics Office

The main factor contributing to this change was a decrease of €390.5 million – some 6.5% – in expenditure on intermediate consumption, according to the office.

An analysis of the results for 2019 compared to 2018 identified that, despite an increase of 3.6% in the volume of goods produced, falling prices resulted in the value of goods output at producer prices decreasing by €258 million (-3.1%), from €8.22 billion in 2018 to €7.96 billion in 2019.

While the volume of crops produced by Irish farmers increased by 7.8%, lower prices resulted in the value of crops falling by €228.9 million (-10.8%), from €2.13 billion to €1.8 billion.

The main crops contributing to this decline in production were forage plants which, because of falling prices, decreased in value by €276.3 million (-20.6%), the CSO noted.

Despite the volume of milk production increasing by 5.1%, lower prices resulted in the value of milk increasing by just €45.2 million (+1.8%), from €2.56 billion to €2.6 billion.

Although the volume of cattle produced increased by 1.9%, lower prices resulted in the value of cattle decreasing by €111.1 million (-4.9%), from €2.26 billion to €2.15 billion.

While there was very little change in the volume of pigs produced in 2019 (+0.4%), large price increases resulted in the value of pig production increasing by €84.0 million (+18.3%), from €459.1 million to €543 million.

Total intermediate consumption fell by €390.5 million (-6.5%), decreasing from €6.038 billion to €5.65 billion.

The cost of forage plants consumed by Irish farmers fell by €273.4 million (-20.5%) in 2019, down from €1.33 billion to €1.06 billion.

The volume of feedingstuffs consumed on Irish farms decreased by 13.8% and as a result, expenditure on feedingstuffs fell by €184.6 million (-11.0%) to €1.49 billion.

The volume of fertilisers consumed by Irish farmers fell by 7.6% in 2019 but price increases resulted in the cost of these fertilisers decreasing by just €3.8 million (-0.7%), from €582.1 million to €578.3 million.

Expenditure on other goods and services increased by €37.6 million (+7.3%), rising from €514.9 million to €552.5 million.