The South-West region saw the highest operating surplus in agriculture in 2020, according to figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) today (Thursday, October 7).

The South-West had a surplus in 2020 of €775.8 million, an increase of around €70 million compared with 2019.

The Mid-West region saw the second-highest surplus last year, with €558.8 million, an increase of around €60 million compared to the year before.

The Midlands region saw the lowest surplus last year, of €198.8 million. This was, however, an increase of around €35 million on 2019.

All regions saw increases in operating surplus in 2020 compared with the year before. These are broken down as follows:

Border€440.8 million€412.6 million
West€413.2 million€370.4 million
Mid-West€558.8 million€497.6 million
South-East€513.5 million€458 million
South-West€775.8 million€705.7 million
Dublin and Mid-East€361.9 million€317.7 million
Midlands€198.8 million€162.7 million
State€3.26 billion€2.92 billion
Data source: CSO

At the state level, livestock, milk and crops accounted for 40.3%, 30.9% and 21.8% respectively of the total value of agricultural output at basic prices in 2020.

Net subsidies (i.e. subsides on products less taxes on products) accounted for 1.1% of the value of agricultural output at basic prices last year.

The value of agricultural output at basic prices increased by 4.6% (+€391.8million) in 2020.

The value of livestock rose by 6.5% (+€219.4 million), with prices accounting for 3.5% of this growth. Cattle prices rose by 5.3% and volumes grew by 1.4%, resulting in the overall value of cattle increasing by 6.8% (+€146.6 million).

With an 11.1% rise in prices, the value of sheep increased by 16.3% (+€42.5 million).

Milk production rose by 5.5% (+€144.1 million) due to the combined impact of stronger milk prices (+1.6%) and higher volumes (+3.9%).

Even though prices for cereals increased by 7.6%, their value fell by 11.5% (-€37.7 million) due to output volumes contracting by 16.5%.

Despite this, the overall value of crop production rose by 2.6% (+€49.3 million) due to the large increase in the value of forage plants (+9.3% or €97.5 million).

On the inputs side, there was only a marginal change in intermediate consumption costs (+0.3% or €17.6 million).

While some costs increased – most notably forage plants (+9.6% or €100.3 million) and maintenance and repairs (+10.1% or €49.3 million) – other costs fell.

Expenditure on energy and lubricants contracted by 12.2% (-€53.8 million), while the cost of fertilisers contracted by 8.0% (-€46 million).

The net impact of these and other changes was an overall increase of 11.6% (+€337.9 million) in agricultural operating surplus.