UK Farming Statistics
22 March 2013
The Agricultural Price Index (API) measures the monthly price changes in agricultural outputs and inputs for the UK. The output series reflects the price farmers receive for their products, also referred to as farm gate price. Information is collected for all major crops (for example wheat and potatoes) and on livestock and livestock products (for example sheep, milk and eggs).
The input series reflects the price farmers pay for goods and services. This is split into two groups: goods and services currently consumed; and goods and services contributing to investment. Goods and services currently consumed refer to items that are used up in the production process, for example fertiliser, or seed. Goods and services contributing to investment relate to items that are required but not consumed in the production process, such as tractors or buildings.
Figure 1: Agricultural Price Indices (2005=100)
The January price index for all agricultural outputs rose by 0.3% in January and is 11.9% higher than the same time last year. The index for all agricultural inputs fell by 0.1% in January and is 6.5% up on January 2012.
The poor harvest in 2012 continues to keep crop prices high. All crop products are 28% higher than this time last year. Increases in crop prices on the year are seen throughout, most notably with:
- main crop potatoes whose price has more than doubled since January 2012;
- cereal prices have increased 33% on the year;
The poor 2012 harvest also had an effect on agricultural inputs. Poor quality forage, due to wet conditions at harvest, has increased demand for winter feed and the increased cereal prices have contributed to an overall rise in animal feeding stuff. Compared to last year animal feeding stuff is up by 20%. Some seeds have also been in short supply due to the wet harvest and prices are up by 18% compared to the same time last year.
The agricultural price index is used by farmers to help set their output prices and monitor the prices they are paying for inputs. The data is also used by analysts in Government, industry and academia to assess the impact that changing prices may have on the industry and consumers.
Data from the API is used by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) in the production of the Producer Price Index (PPI) which is one of the key measures of inflation.
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