The agricultural operating surplus for 2020 is expected to increase by €428.9m to €3.484bn, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) has estimated.

The 14% increase has been largely attributed to the livestock sector, which is projected to contribute an additional €388.3m to the value of agricultural output in 2020.

With the volume of cattle production forecasted to rise by 9.9%, the net impact when combined with improved prices is a projected rise of €327.6m or 15.2% in cattle values.

Improved prices

Pig and sheep values are also expected to grow, according to the CSO report.

The volume of pig production is estimated to rise by 5.8%, and with price increases, the value of pig production is projected to grow from €543.0m to €602.3m, up 10.9%.

While the volume of sheep production is expected to fall marginally by 0.7%, improved prices should lead to sheep values rising by €28.0m to €288.8m, up 10.7%.

Despite reduced prices, a projected volume growth of 6.8% will result in the overall value of poultry increasing by 3.6% to €176.6m.

The value of milk production for 2020 is projected to rise by €98.1m to €2.699bn, mainly due to a 3.1% increase in milk volumes.

Shrinking values

The equine sector is the only category of livestock expected to experience shrinking values in 2020, with both reduced volumes and prices resulting in horse values falling by €32.6m to €222.9m.

Primarily as a result of reduced yields, the volume of cereal production is expected to fall by 27.2% in 2020.

With only relatively minor increases in average prices to counteract that decline, the value of cereals is projected to fall by €80.7m to €234.0m.


The CSO predicts minor changes to consumption costs for 2020.

While the volume of feeding stuffs consumed by Irish farmers is expected to increase by 5.6%, reduced prices will result in their cost growing by €58.1m to €1.548bn.

With little change in consumption volumes and reduced average prices, the overall cost of fertilisers is forecast to fall by €56.2m to €522.1m.

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