Farm Business

CSO Figures Highlight Major Concerns Around Price Volatility

IFA President Francie Gorman said the latest CSO figures for agriculture in 2023 highlight the price volatility that Irish farmers are exposed to in the current market.

“Latest CSO figures only further highlight the pressures that farmers are facing at farmgate. There is a price squeeze still taking place and margins are eroding on farms,” he said.

The latest figures released by the CSO show that value of agricultural output at basic prices fell by 13% or €1.7bn to €11.2bn in 2023, with the agricultural operating surplus declining by 36% to €3.0bn in 2023.

Tillage experienced a tough year, with prices falling and the harvest being devastated by poor weather. These latest figures highlight that with a price reduction of 33% and overall volumes reducing by 26%.

In the dairy sector, prices reduced by 26% while volume was back 4% on 2022 figures. Cattle values fell by 1% to €3.0bn due to 4% lower volumes. Pig values grew by 7% to €667m due to stronger prices which were up 19%.

Francie Gorman said the net effect for farmers is that the shock to the system of spiralling input costs, caused primarily by the Ukraine war, is still having a big impact.

“What these CSO figures show is that others in the food chain have to recognise the pressures on farmers. They cannot expect quality food to arrive on supermarket shelves at a loss to the primary producer,” he said.

The IFA President said part of the frustration for farmers is that the cost of regulation is adding to the overall burden on farmers.

“The message from our ongoing ‘Enough is Enough’  is that farmers cannot be taken for granted. Our Government and the EU Commission have to take this into account when it comes to designing farm policy,” he concluded.

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