The Russian invasion of Ukraine has “significantly disturbed” global agricultural markets, according to the EU statistics agency Eurostat.
The fact that both of these countries are major exporters of grain, wheat, maize oilseeds and fertiliser, and that trade with them has been cut off, is cited as a major cause of this instability.
This has resulted in sharp price rises for both key agricultural products and inputs, Eurostat noted.
In the first quarter (Q1) of 2022, the average price of goods and services consumed in agriculture (i.e. inputs not related to investment) increased by 9.5% compared with the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2021.
This was underpinned by considerable rises for fertilisers and soil improvers (+21.2%); energy and lubricants (+17.4%); and animal feed stuffs (+9.2%).
Meanwhile, the average price of agricultural goods as a whole (output) increased by 6%.
The quarterly price rises build on increases since the start of Q1 2021. On an annual basis, the average price of agricultural inputs not related to investment jumped by 27.4% for the EU between Q1 2021 and Q1 2022.
In particular, the price of fertiliser and soil improvers almost doubled on average in the EU (+96.2%) in that period, and the average price of energy and lubricants rose by just over one half (+55.6%).
The higher cost of cereals and energy also passed through to animal feed stuffs, which increased in cost by +22.9% on an annual basis.
The average price of agricultural output increased by 19.9% for the EU between Q1 2021 and Q1 2022. There were particularly strong increases for cereals (+41.5%) and oilseeds (+51.7%), as well as cattle (+24.2%), poultry (+22.2%) and milk (+21.4%), among others.
Among EU member states, the largest rate of increase – comparing Q1 2022 to Q4 2021 – in the average price of agricultural output was recorded in Lithuania (+18.1%), followed by Romania (+14.4%) and the Netherlands (+13.9%).
On the flip side, the only countries to see a decline in output price over the same period were Croatia (-5.8%), Slovakia (-0.8%) and Greece (-0.4%).
The sharpest rate of increase in the average price of inputs (not related to investment) was also recorded in Lithuania (+24.5%), followed by Latvia (+18.9%) and Slovakia (+14.6%).
Indeed, all member states recorded increases for these inputs, but the smallest rate of increase was for Malta (+4.7%), with Slovenia and Portugal both seeing increases of 6.2%.