Agricultural trade index tightens further in 2018

The balance between farm input and output prices will see an almost 6% decrease in 2018, according to preliminary figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

According to the statistics, farm output for 2018 is estimated to fall 2.4%, while input will increase 3.6%, for a shortfall of 5.8% in terms of trade.

The CSO says that the rises in costs are down to the increased prices in energy (9% of input price), fertilisers (5.6%) and feed (5.4%).

In fact, only seeds will see an input decrease – of less than 1%.

In other expenses, veterinary costs will rise 3.1%, while plant protection products will increase marginally by 0.8%.

Overall price indices preliminary estimates. Source: CSO

Meanwhile, the projected decrease in output is attributable to price falls in pigs (-12.8%) and milk (-7.1%).

In terms of animals, only the sheep sector will see an increase in output price, jumping 5.2%, while poultry will experience a minor drop of -0.2%.

Input price index 2018 preliminary estimates. Source: CSO

Increases in output will be far more pronounced in crops, which will experience a 13.9% rise – mainly attributable to cereals and potatoes, which will rise 18.3% and 21.8% respectively.

Fruit and vegetables will be more slack, with estimates showing a rise of 5.2% by year’s end.

Output price index 2018 preliminary estimates. Source: CSO

This year is set to be the second consecutive 12-month period of input price rises, with an almost 4% rise in costs since 2016.