The terms of trade across the entire agriculture sector from August 2018 to August 2019 fell by 4.5%, with output prices falling 3.4% and input prices rising by 1.2%.

That’s according to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) – released today, Friday, October 10, which also found that the monthly change in terms of trade between July 2019 and August 2019 also declined; the 2.5% drop was as a result of a fall in output prices by 2.8%, despite a negligible 0.2% drop in input prices.

Date source: CSO


Looking at the yearly change for the various sub-indices in agricultural output prices, it shows that animal output prices fell 3% in the 12-month period from August 2018 to August 2019.

The largest drop was in the sheep sector, which saw a drop of 7.4% in output prices. This was followed by cattle, with a 4% fall (calves specifically fell by 4.9%).

Perhaps the most notable figure was in the pig sector, which saw output prices increase by 24.1%. Poultry also saw a slight rise of 1.5%.

In terms of animal products, these output prices fell overall by 7.4%.

Milk was down 7.5%, while eggs fell by 1.9%. Wool saw by far the sharpest decline, with a 17.9% drop.

Looking at crop outputs, these output prices fell by 5.4% overall over the course of the 12 months.

Cereal output (including seeds) saw no change either way, while vegetable output prices rose slightly by 1.4%.

However, potato output prices declined by over a third, with a 35.7% drop.


Looking at the August-to-August comparison for agricultural input prices, they show a 4.3% rise in fertilisers, and a 1.3% rise in feeding stuffs.

For fertilisers, these are broken down as follows:

  • Straight fertilisers – up 4.3%;
  • Compound fertilisers – up 4.4%;
    • PK fertilisers up 5.5%;
    • NPK fertilisers up 4.4%;
  • Other fertilisers – up 2.8%.

Other input cost figures include: seeds up 11.5%; energy down 2.8%; plant protection products down 0.4%; and veterinary expenses up 2.1%.

The feeding stuff input prices are broken down as follows:

  • Straight feeding stuffs – up 0.5%;
  • Compound feeding stuffs – up 1.4%;
    • Feeding stuffs for calves – down 0.7%;
    • Feeding stuffs for cattle excluding calves – no change;
    • Feeding stuffs for pigs – up 7%;
    • Feeding stuffs for poultry – up 0.6%;
    • Other compound feeding stuffs – down 1.4%.

Finally, input prices for maintenance of materials and buildings rose 0.7%, while other goods and services rose 0.2%.

For more information on the CSO’s data, click here.