Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Economics 29/9/10: Agricultural prices

Last month I made a number of warnings concerning the price increases in some food sectors, specifically - milk and milk products. These warnings were based on my analysis of the figures for global commodities price trends and the newsflow from Russia and Central Europe. I also warned that Ireland is not insulated from these price changes due to the open nature of our trade.

The latest data from CSO today shows that my predictions are turning out to be right.

Per CSO (emphasis is mine): "Comparing July 2010 unadjusted sub-indices with July 2009 shows that:
  • Milk, potatoes, sheep, vegetables, cattle and pig prices increased by 38.0%, 32.4%, 17.8%, 3.0%, 2.9% and 2.2% respectively, while cereal and poultry prices decreased by 28.9% and 2.8%.
  • Energy prices increased by 15.5%, while seeds, feeding stuffs, fertilizers, plant protection products and veterinary expenses decreased by 9.3%, 8.1%, 5.2%, 0.9% and 0.1% respectively.
Of course, energy prices increases (driven by a 20.1% hike in motor fuels, year on year, but offset - before introduction of the new electricity price hikes and levy - by a -3.1% decline in the price of electricity) are reflective of our wonderfully consistent economic policies that see simultaneous:
  • increases in state-controlled inputs prices and
  • deflation of wages,
thereby undoing competitiveness gains in the private sector by overcharging in state-controlled sectors.

In monthly terms, unadjusted output prices in July were:
  • Milk down -0.1%
  • Cereals no change
These numbers are not yet pricing the full extent of August events, so expect uptick in Q3 figures to be significant.
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