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CSO statistical release, , 11am

Output, Input and Income in Agriculture

Final Estimate 2021

 201920202021 20202021
 € million Annual Change (%)
Goods output8,0498,4469,710 4.915.0
Intermediate consumption5,6925,6946,231 0.09.4
Net subsidies1,7361,7571,727 1.2-1.7
Operating surplus2,7452,9543,487 7.618.1

Agricultural operating surplus increased by 18.1% in 2021

Output, Input and Income in Agriculture - Final Estimate 2019-2021 Figure 1
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After incorporating the necessary revisions to previous years’ data arising mainly from the receipt of data from the 2020 Census of Agriculture, the CSO’s final estimate of agricultural operating surplus for 2021 shows an annual increase of €533.5m (+18.1%), up from €2,953.7m in 2020 to €3,487.2m. The value of agricultural output at basic prices rose by €1,240.2m (+13.8%), with milk accounting for over half of this growth (€641.8m). Intermediate consumption costs rose by €536.4m (+9.4%) to €6,230.8m. See Table 1.

An analysis of the results for 2021 compared to 2020 identified the following main changes:

  • Despite a marginal reduction in output volumes (-0.6%), higher prices (+13.4%) led to the value of cattle production increasing by €290.2m (+12.7%) to €2,580.7m.
  • A 1.9% expansion in production volumes helped to moderate the impact of lower prices (-9.4%), resulting in the value of pig production decreasing by €46.5m (-7.7%) from €601.9m to €555.4m.
  • While the volume of sheep production declined by 1.3%, strong price growth (+21.1%) resulted in the value of sheep output increasing by €59.7m (+19.7%), from €303.3m in 2020 to €362.9m in 2021.
  • Milk prices continued to rise in 2021, growing by 17.0%, and with output expanding by 5.5%, the value of milk production grew by €641.8m (+23.3%), from €2,753.6m to €3,395.4m.
  • While the area planted with cereals was only marginally higher (+3.4%), favourable weather conditions contributed to significantly improved yields for cereals. When combined with stronger prices, the value of cereal production grew by €144.7m (+50.0%) to €434.2m in 2021. Potato yields were also significantly up and with output growing by 41.1% and prices also rising, the overall value of potatoes rose by €56.6m to €174.9m. In total, the volume of crop production increased by 9.1% and with stronger prices (+3.0%), the value of crops rose by €234.9m (+11.7%) to €2,241.3m.
  • Intermediate consumption costs rose by €536.4m (+9.4%), from €5,694.4m to €6,230.8m.
  • The volume of feedingstuffs consumed on Irish farms increased by 6.8%. The impact of increased volumes was exacerbated by higher prices (+10.3%), resulting in the overall cost of feedingstuffs rising by €273.2m (+17.9%) to €1,798.4m.
  • The cost of fertilisers grew by €73.2m (+13.7%) to €605.5m. It should be noted that due to the methodology used to value fertilisers, the full impact of the large increase in fertiliser prices in 2021 will not be felt until estimates for 2022 are prepared.
  • The cost of energy and lubricants rose by €78.7m (+20.9%) due to a combination of a 15.2% increase in prices and a 5.0% rise in the volumes consumed.
  • Expenditure on maintenance and repairs increased by €23.1m (+4.4%) to €545.6m while expenditure on other goods and services grew by €36.6m (+7.2%) to €546.0m.

The recent 2020 Census of Agriculture (CoA) results identified a need for a revision of some historic agriculture data going back to 2017. The data directly impacted was the number of people in paid employment and the area of land rented. The CoA also showed changes to the number of farms by farm type and size class, data that is used to estimate many intermediate consumption costs. In addition, Brexit and the rules governing trade outside of the EU led to the identification of misclassified trade data that impacted on our estimates of poultry. As a result of these various issues, we have revised our estimates of Output, Input and Income in Agriculture for the years 2017 onwards.