The Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA), reacting to the Central Statistics Office (CSO) Agricultural Price Indices for October 2021, has said that input price inflation is “completely eroding” output price improvements.

ICMSA president Pat McCormack said:

“It’s clear that the time for action from our politicians at national and EU level has come, and immediate measures must be put in place to address the unprecedented increases in input costs.”

The agricultural input price index increased by 15.7% in October 2021 compared to one year prior; from September 2021 to October 2021 it increased by 3.7%.

The October agricultural output price index is up by 14.1% in a year and has risen by 0.5% within a month.

While the 14.1% output price index increase within one year would be considered good news, the 15.7% input price index increase “ensured that farmers were worse off”, McCormack explained.

ICMSA on rising prices

With straight fertiliser prices up 64.5%, total energy prices (electricity, motor fuels, lubricants) up 29.7% and feed prices (straight feeding stuffs) up to 18.5%, McCormack described increases as “astronomic”.

The input index also shows that animal feed costs increased by 14.4% in a year, electricity prices jumped by 15.4% and veterinary costs rose by 1.2%.

McCormack further stated:

“ICMSA believes that the actual increases in prices could well be higher than even these figures.

“It’s very obvious that these input price hikes are unsustainable and will require the immediate attention of our national and EU politicians.

“Politicians need to examine the options available either to immediately decrease input prices to realistic levels, raise output prices to compensate for input cost increases, or else provide support through direct support or the taxation system.

“It was already looking like 2022 will be defined by soaring input prices and policy makers at national and EU will have to simply step up with measures to address the issue,” McCormack concluded.