Agricultural output down 3%, input prices up 20.5%

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Agricultural OutputDuring the third quarter of 2008, producer prices for agricultural output decreased by 3.0 per cent while the input prices increased by 20.5 per cent.

Producer Price Index

The producer price index for agricultural products decreased by 3.0 per cent, from 108.5 in the third quarter of 2007 to 105.3 in the corresponding quarter this year.

As a result of a general increase in the supply of fresh vegetables in the third quarter, the price index fell by 15.4 per cent to 90.5. With the exception of tomatoes, where a price increase of 2.8 per cent was registered, all the main vegetables supplied to the market declined in prices, from 0.5 per cent for mushrooms to 50.4 per cent for water melons.

During the third quarter of 2008, the fruit price index rose by 1.8 per cent when compared to the same quarter last year, to 113.7. This was mainly due to an increase in the average prices of desert pears (+15.6 per cent), plums (+27.9 per cent) and figs (+8.6 per cent).

The slaughtered animals index went up by 1.7 per cent over the comparative period. Higher prices were registered for slaughtered pigs (+2.7 per cent), poultry (+11.6 per cent) and rabbits (+1.1 per cent). Similarly, the animal products index advanced by 23.0 per cent on account of higher producer prices fetched for raw milk (+29.0 per cent) and eggs (+7.6 per cent).

Input Price Index

The input price index for agriculture increased by 20.5 per cent, from 107.9 in the third quarter of 2007 to 130.1 in the third quarter this year, mainly on account of higher running costs incurred by agricultural holdings.

The goods and services index, which registers running cost movements, increased by 23.0 per cent over the comparative period last year, due to higher prices recorded for feeding stuffs (+31.3 per cent), motor fuels (+22.0 per cent) and the maintenance of materials (+21.1 per cent).

On the other hand, the machinery and investment index declined by 5.5 per cent due to lower prices paid for materials used in captial expenditure (-11.7 per cent), although the buildings index edged up by 1.3 per cent over the same period last year.

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