Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Questions (163)

Bernard Durkan


163. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the degree to which the costs of farm inputs such as fertilisers are monitored; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5924/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

My Department continually monitors the cost of farm production inputs using data available from national and international sources. Official statistics on farm inputs are compiled by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) and these are available in various publications and on their website.

My Department's Annual Review and Outlook collates a range of available farm data, including the costs of farm inputs, and the most recent publication showed a decrease in the price of fertiliser in 2017 compared with 2016 figures. Farm output, input costs and margins also receive detailed examination each year by Teagasc in their Annual Review and Outlook.

In December 2018 the CSO released its Advance Estimate of Output, Input and Income in Agriculture for 2018. Total intermediate consumption in agriculture was up by 11.2% in 2018 versus 2017, increasing from €5,252.7m to €5,842.4m. A price increase combined with a volume increase of 7.3% resulted in an overall increase in expenditure on fertilisers in 2018, by €59.7m to €572.7m.

In addition, the CSO issue monthly Agricultural Price Indices outlining the changes in output and input indices for a range of agricultural products. Their January release covering the period up to November 2018 indicated that the index of agricultural inputs increased by 6.7% over the previous year, with fertilisers increasing by 9.9% on November 2017 prices.