Irish agricultural output rose at second-highest EU rate in 2017

Ireland’s agricultural output value for 2017 grew at the second-highest rate among EU member states, according to new figures from the European Commission.

The value of our output rose by 13.6% last year, contributing to a total EU output increase of 6.2%.

In terms of value, Ireland’s total output equated to €8.4 billion, while the EU as a whole produced €432.6 billion worth of goods in 2017.

Only Estonia had a higher rate of positive change last year, where the value of output jumped 18.2% – however, their output is quite small in terms of total value, coming in at €900 million.

France led the way in terms of total output, making up 17% of the EU’s overall produce for 2017.

Ireland also performed impressively where animal output is concerned; an 18.3% increase on 2016, the third-highest gain after, again, Estonia, and its Baltic neighbour Latvia.

According to the data, the increase in output value is due to a rise in value itself rather than a rise in the volume of output.

This, in turn, is attributed to an increase in prices, with particularly notable rises for milk, eggs and pigs, which increased 20.2%, 17.9% and 11.6% respectively.

All things considered, the prices for animal products rose 10.3% across all member states.

Crop output also increased across the EU, though less drastically, rising by 3.6% – Ireland found itself considerably below that average, at only 1.9%.

On the flip side of all this, agricultural input costs increased slightly, rising 1.8%, mainly as a result of energy and lubricant costs jumping 5.9% – however, this was offset by fertiliser and soil improvers dropping by 4.9%.