The agricultural output price index increased by 1.8% in February 2021 compared with January 2021, according to the latest data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).
The agricultural input price index increased by 1.4% over the same period. As a result, the terms of trade index was up 0.4% in this period.
On an annual basis, the agricultural input price index increased by 1.8% in February 2021 compared with February 2020.
The agricultural output price index increased by 1.3% in February 2021 compared with February 2020.
Agricultural Price Index
The indices monitor trends in prices paid to farmers for their produce and in prices paid by farmers for purchases of goods and services.
An EU harmonised methodology is used to compile the price indices. The estimates are also sent to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union (EU).
The agricultural output price indices are intended to measure trends in the price of agricultural produce sold by farmers.
The agricultural input price indices are designed to measure trends in the price of farm inputs purchased for current consumption (i.e. non-capital materials and services).
Both indices are compiled on the average farm concept. The average farm concept includes both sales to other economic sectors, as well as sales / purchases of agricultural output between agricultural units for intermediate consumption purposes, excluding trade in animals between agricultural units.
The actual prices used for the index series are based on the market price without the deduction of bonuses, taxes or levies with the exception of deductible value added tax (VAT) and third party levies.
Standardised prices are used for milk and cereals to ensure that products of identical quality are priced in successive periods.
In the case of milk for manufacturing, this means pricing at a fixed fat and protein content. Standardised cereal prices are based on the harvest price at 20% moisture content.
Sheep increase year-on-year
A further comparison of the February 2021 output sub-indices with the February 2020 sub-indices shows that sheep increased by 12.1% and pigs decreased by 21.5%.
Cattle increased by 2.5% and the addition of calves to the data in February meant an increase of 36.7% since the corresponding month in the last calving season.
On the input side, the February 2021 sub-indices show that feeding stuffs were up 6.7% and energy was down 5.6% on February 2020 prices.
While fertiliser prices have increased since the start of the year – up 4% between January and February – they are still cheaper than February of last year – down 1.3%