Agriculture terms of trade to fall 3.5% in 2019 – CSO

The terms of trade for agriculture are set to show a 3.5% decrease for 2019 compared to 2018, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

The CSO has released preliminary estimates for the 2019 Agricultural Price Index. These figures are showing an estimated 2.6% rise for input price levels, while output prices are forecasted to fall by 1%.

The projected rise in input prices is being attributed to increases in costs of fertilisers and feeding stuffs, which are estimated to show a 5.6% and 3.8% rise respectively on their 2018 figures.

Meanwhile, the decrease in the output price is being attributed to projected declines for cattle and milk, which are set to be 6% and 5.6% lower respectively by year-end, compared to last year.

Data source: CSO

Looking in more depth at the input figures, the price index is also showing a large increase for seeds, at 9.1%, as shown in the chart above, while veterinary expenses are set to be 2.1% higher than in 2018.

The only categories of inputs to show decreases are energy and plant protection products, which show marginal declines of 0.4% and 0.1% respectively.

Output index

In terms of outputs, the figure for sheep is also projected to fall, with a projected drop in value of 5.8%.

The falling prices for cattle, milk and sheep are somewhat offset by a notably stronger performance for pigs, which will see an increase of 15.6%. Poultry will also see an increase, though at a much smaller scale – a projected 0.8% rise.

Overall, the output value for animals is set to decline by 2.2% across sectors.

The chart below shows some of the key figures in terms of the output price index:

Looking at crops, the output price figure is set to increase markedly by 16.2% compared to 2018.

This is accounted for by projected increases – of 21.3% and 33.3% respectively – for cereals (including seeds), and potatoes (including seeds).

The figure for fruit and vegetables will also increase, though less dramatically, at 1.4%.