Prices for a number of the main commodities are at record levels, but the increases seen over the last 12 months are not consistent across the sectors, and in many cases are below the 30% estimate for Ag inflation recently published by farm consultancy firm Andersons.
April base milk prices in NI averaged 40.16p/l, a rise of 11p/l year on year, which means that farmgate prices are up 38%.
In beef, while prices continue to edge up, the average price paid across all steers and heifers stood at 427.90p/kg last week. That compares to 380.79p/kg for the same week in 2021, so it is a relatively modest 12.4% increase.
For spring lamb, there is little difference to 2021 prices, with 650p/kg being paid this week. That price is up 20p/kg over the last fortnight on the back of improved demand. At present, lamb is only slightly ahead of last year when prices slipped to 630p/kg by late May.
In the pig sector, market reports from the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) put UK pig prices at around the 169p/kg mark in mid-May, which is up 13% on the 149p/kg from the same period in 2021.
While it is still too early to predict grain prices at this year’s harvest, it is expected that growers will see a significant rise.
Rolled barley delivered on farm during May will typically cost £385/t, compared to £225/t last year.
That is a 71% increase in price and highlights why the intensive sectors in particular, are struggling at present.