The agriculture sector had the highest proportion of gross new bank lending this year, compared to last year. This is according to Central Bank statistics released today.

The Central Bank issued an update on trends in business credit and deposits for quarter two, ending June 2013.  It covers all sectors in Ireland, including agriculture.

According to its report, the agriculture sector continued to be significant in terms of new SME lending during the quarter, new lending €144m in total, followed by wholesale/retail trade and repairs, at €72m.

The Central Bank report said the sectors with the highest proportions of gross new lending relative to Q1 2013 stocks were agriculture (3.7 per cent), electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply (2.5 per cent) and water supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation activities (2.4 per cent).

“Overall credit advanced to the agriculture sector, which accounted for 11 per cent of all non-property, non-financial credit to enterprises at end-June 2013, was 1.6 per cent lower on an annual basis, following a decline of €67m over the year. Most of this annual decline was experienced in Q4 2012 at €128m while Q2 2013 showed a decrease of €28m,” it added.