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UK Farming Statistics


25 January 2013

UK November Agricultural Price Index - 24 January 2013UK November Agricultural Price Index - 24 January 2013


UK Farming Statistics

The latest National Statistics on UK Agricultural Price Index (API) was released on 24 January according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.

The API measures the monthly price changes in agricultural outputs and inputs. The output series reflects the price farmer’s 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 farmer’s pay for goods and services. This is split into two main 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. While goods and services contributing to investment relate to items that are required but not consumed in the production process, such as tractors or buildings.

Agricultural Price Indices (2005=100)

Key Points for October

The price index for all agricultural outputs rose by 3.2% in the month with an 11% rise over the year. The key reason for the increase in agricultural outputs is down to the crops and the affect that the wet harvest has had on their availability. There was little change in the price index for inputs on the month and a 3.4% increase over the year. Drivers for change are:

  • The poor harvest conditions in 2012 are continuing to see strong cereal prices. They are up by 5.2% on the month and 24% on the year. The monthly change is largely due to increased feed wheat and feed barley prices, up 9.1% and 7.3% respectively. The yearly increase is driven by the continued strong prices for bread making wheat which is 44% higher than last year.
  • The difficult harvest for potatoes has seen their price double when compared to last year. This is largely due to a 14% increase in price over the last month.
  • Fresh vegetable prices have remained high as wet conditions make cropping difficult. There was a rise of 0.5% on the month and 43% in the year for vegetable prices.
  • Continued strong prices for apples, following the wet harvest see the price for fresh fruit 33% higher than this time last year. There was however an easing in the price falling by 2.3% over the last month.
  • The higher grain prices have seen an increase in animal feedstuffs of 2.6% in the month and 13% over the year.

Although there have been some large increases in the price of crops the price for animal and animal products has changed little. Over the last month there was a 1.7% increase in price with a 1.4% increase over the last year. Figure 2 shows how the price index for crops and animal and animal products differ.

All Crops and Animal and Animal Products Price Indices (2005=100)

Data Uses

API shows how the prices fluctuate in agriculture. 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.

The API is also used by analysts to value the agricultural outputs and inputs and to assess the impact that a change in price may have on the industry and consumers.

Methodology

Defra collect prices from various sources to produce the monthly API. This includes data from our own surveys, Agricultural, Horticultural Development Board (AHDB), and the ONS. For some items we only get quarterly or annual data. An example is annual data we receive for electricity which is then split evenly between the 12 months. If there is no new data the previous series will be carried forward until the new data is available. Some of the outputs are seasonal, for example strawberries, and these will only have an index for the months they are in season.

The methodology used is described in the “Handbook for EU Agricultural Prices” and is standard across the EU.

January 2013

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