Agricultural terms of trade for the 12 months from October 2018 to the same month this year are down 3.6%, according to figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

This is accounted for by a 4.7% decrease in the output price index in that period, somewhat offset by a corresponding 1.1% decrease in the input price index.

On a monthly basis, from September to October 2019, the output price index saw an increase of 1.4%, while the input price index decreased slightly by 0.2%.

This resulted in the monthly terms of trade from September to October increasing by 1.5%.

Looking at the individual output price sub-indices for various products, crops, animals and animal products all decreased on a yearly basis. However, animals and animal products recorded rises on a month-to-month basis.

Output price

In terms of crops, the output price index for the 12 months to October decreased by 18.6%, and by 1.3% from September to October.

The yearly figures were comprised of a 27.5% decrease for cereals, including seeds, and a 30.3% fall in potatoes, including seeds. Vegetables saw a slight increase in output price of 2.1%.

The animal output price index decreased by 2.1% on a yearly basis, though it increased by 1.8% from September to October.

Annually, only pigs (27.4%) and poultry (1.5%) saw increases, with cattle (excluding calves), calves and sheep recording decreases of 2.5%, 10.1% and 4.7% respectively.

The output index for all animals saw slight monthly increases (except calves and sheep, for which no data was available).

Looking at animal products, the annual change was a 7.6% decrease, comprising a 7.7% fall for milk, a 2.4% decrease for eggs, and a 17.9% decline for wool.

Milk saw a slight monthly increase of 1.2%, while eggs and milk were unchanged.

Input price

Turning to agricultural inputs and feeding stuffs, a main driver of input prices saw a decrease of 3.7% in its index for the 12 months to October, comprising a 9.4% fall in straight feeding stuffs, and a 3.4% decline in compound feeding stuffs.

Across all sectors, feeding stuffs saw decreases in input price of between 0% and around 6% for the 12-month period.

The annual input index for fertilisers increased by 2.1%, made up of a straight fertiliser increase of 1.6% and a compound fertiliser increase of 2.2%.

PK fertilisers saw an increase of 4.2%, while NPK fertilisers went up by 2.2%.

Other key annual input figures included: energy down 3%; plant protection products down 0.4%; veterinary expenses up 2.1%; maintenance of materials and buildings up 0.8%; and other goods and services up 0.5%.