The CSO’s final estimate of operating surplus in agriculture in 2018 shows an annual decrease of €576m (-16.8%), down from €3,425.2m in 2017 to €2,849.2m. This decrease is in line with the trends shown by other CSO short-term indicators in agriculture. The main reason for this change was an increase of €690.0m (+13.0%) in intermediate consumption. The main items giving rise to this increase in intermediate consumption are feeding stuffs and fertilisers, which increased by €355.9m (+26.9%) and €69.2m (+13.5%) respectively. See Table 1.
An analysis of the results for 2018 compared to 2017 identified the following main changes:
Despite a very small change in the volume of goods produced, the value of goods output at producer prices increased by €96.1m (+1.2%) from €8,085.6m to €8,181.8m.
While the volume of crops produced by Irish farmers fell, increased prices resulted in an overall increase in the value of crop output, which rose by 14.6% from €1,824.6m to €2,090.2m, an increase of €265.6m.
Milk output increased by 4.6% in volume, but falling prices resulted in an overall reduction in its value, which decreased from €2,594.1m to €2,555.4m, a fall of €38.7m (-1.5%).
A 3.1% decrease in the volume of cattle output combined with falling prices resulted in an overall drop of €101.0m (-4.3%) in the value of cattle. Their value fell from €2,362.1m in 2017 to €2,261.1m in 2018.
The value of pig output decreased by €58.1m (-11.3%) from €516.7m to €458.6m while the volume of pig production rose by 1.3%.
Total intermediate consumption was up by €690.0m (+13.0%), increasing from €5,311.0m in 2017 to €6,001.0m in 2018.
Expenditure on feeding stuffs increased by €355.9m (+26.9%) to €1,680.3m, due primarily to a 19.8% increase in the volume of feeding stuffs consumed.
Both the volume and price of fertilisers consumed by Irish farmers also increased during 2018. A volume increase of 8.9% combined with a price increase resulted in an overall increase of 13.5% in expenditure on fertilisers. The cost of these fertilisers increased by €69.2m to €582.1m.
Expenditure on energy and lubricants increased by €33.8m (+8.7%), increasing from €390.2m in 2017 to €424.1m in 2018.
This release updates the Preliminary Estimate of Output, Input and Income in Agriculture published by the CSO in March 2019.
Central Statistics Office
Skehard Road, Cork T12 X00E, Ireland