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Intermediate Consumption In Agriculture (Inputs)

Expenditure on Intermediate Consumption

2010’s intermediate consumption expenditure in agriculture was almost exactly the same as in 2009, at €4,083m.  Expenditure on fertilisers decreased by 18% derived from usage and price decreases. Feedingstuffs, which account for over one-quarter of total intermediate consumption in the sector (see Figure 3.11), saw a 4.7% decrease primarily originating from price decreases. Price Increases were the primary factor behind a 12.9% increase in the cost of energy usage.


Price Indices for Agricultural Inputs

In 2010, the price level of agricultural inputs decreased by 1.6% following on from an 8.8% drop in 2009. Included in this, the price of both feedingstuffs and fertilisers also followed decreases in 2009 with -3.6% and -12.3% drops in 2010. At the other end of the scale overall energy costs increased by 12.7%, driven by a 17.5% rise in Motor Fuels that totally reversed a drop of that magnitude in 2009.


Animal Feedingstuffs

The volume of compound feedingstuffs produced increased by just over 2% in 2010, from 3.656 million tonnes in 2009 to 3.736 million tonnes. The overall cost of annual animal  feedingstuffs fell slightly, from €1.08 billion in 2009 to €1.03 billion in 2010. The CSO Agricultural Price Index indicates a 3.6% decrease in prices in 2010.



Fertiliser & Ground Limestone

CSO estimates for 2010 indicate that the fertiliser (including ground limestone) price decreased by 12.3% while the volume consumed increased 23.7%. This equated to an 8% increase in the value of fertiliser consumed - from €416 million to €451 million.


A comparison shows that for the sale year October 2009 to September 2010 total sales by volume of NPK fertiliser increased by 18% to 1.424 million tonnes. The most significant increases occurred for P and K with nutrient sales increasing by 45% and 43% respectively, while sales of Nitrogen showed an increase of 18% (Figure 3.15). Ground Limestone sales in 2010 (calendar year) amounted to an estimated 942,131 tonnes compared to 698,460 tonnes in 2009, an increase of 35%.

2010 showed an increase in fertiliser sales following a period of continued decline over the past six years. Forecasts of improved commodity prices and increased income returns in 2011 point to another increase in fertiliser usage in 2011. Fertiliser prices are likely to increase in 2011, as they are highly sensitive to the cost of energy and supply and demand considerations.


Energy Costs

In 2010, the price of all energy products rose by 12.7%. Within the sector, the cost of motor fuels increased by 17.5%, although electricity costs fell by 6.3%.