The CSO’s first estimate of operating surplus in agriculture in 2018 shows an annual decrease of 16.8%, down from €3,456.9m in 2017 to €2,876.3m. This decrease is in line with the trends shown by other CSO short-term indicators in agriculture.
The main driver of this change was an increase of €589.7m (+11.2%) in intermediate consumption. The main items giving rise to this increase are feedingstuffs and fertilisers, which increased by 34.1% and 11.6% respectively. See Table 1.
An analysis of the results for 2018 compared to 2017 identified the following main changes:
Despite a marginal increase of 0.6% in the volume of goods produced, the value of goods output at producer prices decreased by €31.6m (-0.4%) from €8,056.3m to €8,024.7m.
The volume of crops produced by Irish farmers fell by 5.4%. Increased prices resulted in an overall increase in the value of crop output, which rose by 4.2% from €1,799.9m to €1,876.0m, an increase of €76.1m.
The volume of cereals produced during 2018 fell by 21.9% but increased prices resulted in an overall increase in the value of cereals, up from €237.2m in 2017 to €257.8m in 2018 (+8.7%).
Other crops also saw volume decreased by 6.3%, while the value of these crops increased from €481.6m to €516.8m, an increase of 7.3%.
Milk output increased by 1.7% in volume, but falling prices resulted in an overall reduction in its value, which decreased from €2,591.7m to €2,468.8m, a fall of €122.9m (-4.7%).
The volume of sheep produced on Irish farms increased by €70.6m (+21.1%) between 2017 and 2018. Increased prices resulted in a 26.9% increase in value, which rose from €262.6m in 2017 to €333.2m in 2018.
The value of cattle output increased by €5.7m (+0.2%) from €2,361.4m in 2017 to €2,367.1m in 2018. Underlying this increase are higher production volumes (+0.7%) and lower prices.
The value of pig output decreased by 9.8% from €515.6m to €465.0m while the volume of pig production rose by 2.9%.
Total intermediate consumption was up by €589.7m (+11.2%), increasing from €5,252.7m in 2017 to €5,842.4m in 2018.
Expenditure on feeding stuffs increased by €452.8m (+34.1%) to €1,781.4m, due primarily to a 27.3% increase in the volume consumed.
Both the volume and price of fertilisers consumed by Irish farmers also increased during 2018. A volume increase of 7.3% combined with a price increase resulted in an overall increase in expenditure on fertilisers. The cost of these fertilisers increased by €59.7m to €572.7m.
Expenditure on energy and lubricants increased by €29.9m (+7.7%), increasing from €387.7m in 2017 to €417.6m in 2018.
The figures for 2018 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 2018 will be published in the Preliminary Estimate in March 2019, followed by the Final Estimate in June 2019.
Central Statistics Office
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