Agriculture terms of trade index increases 8.6% in September

The agricultural terms of trade index was 8.6% higher in September 2020 compared to the same month of 2019, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

Releasing the latest agricultural price indices today (Thursday, November 12), the CSO noted that the agricultural output price index was 5.5% higher in September this year compared to September 2019.

At the same time, the input price index decreased by 2.8%, giving the 8.6% terms of trade increase.

On a month-on-month basis (August 2020 to September 2020), the trend was also positive, though not quite as notable.

Month-on-month, the output price index increased 1.6%, while the input price index decreased marginally by 0.3%. This gives an upward change in the terms of trade between August and September of 1.9%.

Output sub-indices

Looking in more detail at the output sub-indices between September 2019 and September 2020, the figures show that animal output price increased by 5.8% in September this year compared to 12 months earlier.

This includes increases for cattle (up 9.6%); cattle excluding calves (up 9.5%); and calves (up 25.4%).

There was also a 19.3% increase for sheep.

Pigs and poultry went the opposite direction, seeing decreases of 8.9% and 1.6% respectively.

The crop output sub-index was up 3.6% in September 2020 compared to September 2019, with cereals (including seeds) remaining unchanged; vegetables showing a decrease of 2.3%; and potatoes (including seeds) increasing by 20.4%.

For animal products the output sub-index increased by 5.5%, comprising a 5.7% increase for milk and a 1.4% increase for eggs.

However, the sub-index for wool saw a major decrease of 66%.

Input sub-indices

Turning to agricultural inputs, the fertiliser sub-index decreased by 12.1% in September 2020 compared to September 2019.

This was broken down as follows:

  • Straight fertilisers – down 14.6%;
  • Compound fertilisers – down 11.5%;
    • PK fertilisers – down 4.8%;
    • NPK fertilisers – down 11.7%;
  • Other fertilisers – unchanged.

The energy input sub-index decreased by 10.6%, comprising a 2.7% decrease for electricity; and 13.4% decrease for motor fuels; and a 3% decrease for lubricants.

For feeding stuffs, the input price decreased very slightly, by 0.8%.

This was broken down as follows:

  • Straight feeding stuffs – up 0.4%;
  • Compound feeding stuffs – down 0.8%;
    • Feeding stuffs for calves – up 1.1%;
    • Feeding stuffs for cattle (excluding calves) – unchanged;
    • Feeding stuffs for pigs – down 2%;
    • Feeding stuffs for poultry – down 2.9%;
    • Other compound feeding stuffs – up 0.8%.

The seeds input sub-index decreased by 7.1%; plant protection products increased by 0.2%; veterinary expenses increased by 1.4%; maintenance of materials and buildings increased by 1.1%; and other goods and services increased by 0.9%.