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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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‘Soaring’ input prices likely to define 2022 as fertiliser costs up by over 60%

The ICMSA has called on politicians – at national and EU level – to implement measures immediately to address “unprecedented” increases in input costs.

Its president, Pat McCormack, has said that price inflation is “completing eroding” output price improvements.

The farm leader expressed his concerns following the publication of CSO Agricultural Price Indices for October 2021 earlier this month.

McCormack said that the output price index increasing by 14.1% from October 2020 to October 2021 would normally be “a good news story”.

However, he stated that the input price index increase of 15.7% had actually “ensured that farmers were worse off”.

He said that the costs were already in the pipeline, and he described some of the increases as “astronomic”.

Some fertiliser (straight) prices were up by 64.5%, while energy prices increased by up 29.7%, and feed prices rose by 18.5%.

ICMSA believes that the actual increases in prices could be higher than even these figures.

He said it is “obvious” that these input price hikes are unsustainable and require our national and EU politicians’ “immediate” attention.

“They need to examine the options available either to immediately decrease input prices to realistic levels, raise output prices to compensate for input cost increases, or else provide support through direct support or the taxation system”, he said.

The ICMSA president said it was “already looking like soaring” input costs will define 2022.

“Policymakers at national and EU will have to simply step up with measures to address the issue,” he concluded.

Summary from CSO data:

The agricultural output price index increased by 0.5% in October 2021 compared with September 2021.

The agricultural input price index increased by 3.7% over the same period. Thus, the resulting terms of trade index was down 3.1% in this period.

On an annual basis, the agricultural input price index increased by 15.7% in October 2021 compared with October 2020.

Furthermore, the agricultural output price index increased by 14.1% in October 2021 compared with October 2020.

A further comparison of the October 2021 output sub-indices with the October 2020 sub-indices shows that cereals and sheep increased by 34% and 21.4%, respectively.

Lastly, on the input side, October 2021 sub-indices show that motor fuels were up 36.4% respectively on October 2020 prices.

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