|€ million||Annual Change (%)|
The CSO’s first estimate of agricultural operating surplus for 2021 is an expected growth of €588.9m (+18.1%) to €3,851.7m. The main outputs giving rise to this increase are milk and cattle.
While the volume of cattle production is expected to fall by 3.5%, with stronger prices, values are projected to rise by €229.5m (+10.0%). Despite a projected increase of 1.6% in volumes, the impact of lower prices on the value of pig production is a decrease of €36.8m (-6.1%). There is little expected change in the volume of sheep production (+0.1%) but with stronger prices, their value is forecast to grow by €58.7m (+19.3%) to €361.9m.
The value of horse production is also expected to recover significantly in 2021, with large price increases combined with a 2.1% rise in volumes resulting in the projected value of horses to increase by €41.1m (+19.0%). With minor price increases and volumes expanding by 3.4%, the value of poultry production is forecast to rise by €7.8m (+4.3%). Milk volumes are expected to increase by 6.2% in 2021 and with significant price increases, it is projected that the value of milk will rise by 22.7% to €3,376.6m.
The value of crops is expected to increase by €177.6m (+9.1%) to €2,120.5m in 2021, with volumes estimated to rise by 2.0%. Primarily due to improved yields, the volume of cereal production is expected to increase by 14.7%. These additional volumes combined with a strong growth in prices indicates that the value of cereals will grow by €132.3m (+45.7%) to €421.9m. Overall, the value of agricultural output at basic prices is expected to rise by €1,064.6m (+12.0%) to €9,972.9m.
As there is still relatively limited data available on input costs, particularly on volumes, intermediate consumption costs are projected to rise by €392.3m (+6.9%) to €6,072.2m. The volume of feeding stuffs consumed by Irish farmers is expected to increase by 7.2% and when these are combined with higher prices, it is estimated that their cost will rise by €260.4m (+17.1%) to €1,785.6m. With volumes expected to increase by 4.3% and prices also rising, the overall cost of fertilisers is forecast to grow by €58.7m (+11.0%) to €591.0m.
With the expected value of agricultural outputs up by €1,064.6m, intermediate consumption costs rising by €392.3m, the introduction of a two percent increase in the standard VAT rate in March 2021 and the flat rate farmers’ VAT compensation scheme increased by 0.2% to 5.6% for the year, the projected value of other subsidies less taxes on production is a decrease of €46.3m (-2.8%) to €1,600.2m. The value of net subsidies is expected to decrease from €1,741.1m to €1,653.6m, a decrease of €87.5m (-5.0%).
The figures for 2021 are advance estimates which are provisional and based on the latest available data. These figures are subject to change once the complete set of data for the full year becomes available. Updated figures for 2021 will be published in the Preliminary Estimate in March 2022, followed by the Final Estimate in June 2022.