Falloff in Irish agricultural prices bodes well for food prices

Recent price growth of agricultural commodities in the EU slowed sharply in the second quarter, according to Eurostat

Ireland was one of 10 EU states to record a decrease in agricultural commodity prices in the second quarter, suggesting food prices may soon start coming down.

According to Eurostat latest agricultural price indices, the recent price growth of agricultural commodities in the EU slowed sharply in the second quarter.

In the 12 months to the second quarter of 2023, the average EU price of agricultural products as a whole (output) increased by 2 per cent, the agency said.

This represented a significantly lower rate of increase compared with the previous quarter when the average price increased by 17 per cent (first quarter of 2023 compared with the first quarter of 2022).


Within these numbers, 10 EU states recorded a downturn in prices. Irish agricultural commodity prices fell by 8.5 per cent, compared with the same period in 2022.

The price of some output products did rise, however. Citrus fruit rose by an average of 89 per cent while olive oil (+48 per cent), and potatoes (+38 per cent) were also up substantially.

These price rises largely reflected drought-affected volumes, Eurostat said.

By contrast, the price of cereals decreased by 31 per cent while those of poultry (+4 per cent) and milk (-2 per cent) “remained more stable,” it said.

Over the same period, the average price of goods and services currently consumed in agriculture (inputs not related to investment) decreased by 5 per cent.

Next to energy bills and mortgage costs, food prices have been one of the main pressure point on households budgets.

Recent research by analysts Kantar put the increase in the cost of groceries in Irish supermarkets at just under 13 per cent, in the year up to the start of August.

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times