Dairy helps drive annual growth in wholesale prices
Annual manufacturing prices climbed 1.8% in April, with growth in dairy delivering a particular boost to the wholesale price index (WPI) from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).
The data published today, May 22, showed dairy products were up 18.4%, and other food products including bread and confectionary rose 5.7%, over the year.
However, the wholesale price index was down 0.7% on a monthly basis despite an increase of 1.9% in meat and meat products, with a decrease of 2.7% in basic pharmaceuticals depressing the index.
The collection of producer and wholesale prices for the calculation of the index, published on a monthly basis, is used as a short-term indicator of the business cycle.
According to the figures, the monthly price index for exports and for home sales was down 0.6% and 1%, respectively, although the annual index on exports was up 1.6% due to currency fluctuations.
Figures published last week showed currency pressures caused by Brexit have already constrained growth in exports to the UK, with a decline in demand for Irish food products the primary reason for the slump.
Last week, data from the European Commission showed butter prices across Europe reached a record high, with wholesale averages of €439 per 100kg.
Meanwhile, Ornua CEO Kevin Lane pledged to “guard” milk prices at 28-32c/L in a bid to overcome an extended period of volatility after the company posted “a strong trading performance” in 2016.
And, at a meeting last week, the board of Dairygold decided to hold its milk price at 31.5c/L, including VAT, for milk produced during the month of April. The company last raised its milk price by 1c/L in January.