In the 12 months to March 2024, the Central Statistics Office's (CSO) agricultural input price index was down 15.3%.

The most significant input price drop was fertiliser, which was down by 40% year on year.

Electricity for the same period was down 22% year on year, while the cost of feed was down 16.7% and straights down 21%.

Input costs for March 2024 decreased by 0.8% when compared with February 2024 also.

Meanwhile, the monthly terms of trade increased by 2.2% in March 2024 when compared with the previous month.

Output prices fall

Despite some good news for farmers in terms of input costs, the CSO’s agricultural output price index dropped 3.5% overall between March 2023 and March 2024.

While cereal and milk prices dropped by 31% and 5% respectively, sheep prices experienced a rise of 30% year on year. Increases were also recorded in potatoes, with prices up 73.6%, and vegetables, up 12.8%.

On a monthly basis, the agricultural output price index for March 2024 rose by 1.4% when compared with February 2024.