Electricity prices were up 260% on average last year

Prices in some construction materials showed large increases, CSO data show

Large increases were recorded in wholesale electricity prices during 2021. File photograph: The Irish Times

Large increases were recorded in wholesale electricity prices during 2021. File photograph: The Irish Times

 

There were large increases in wholesale electricity prices during 2021, with prices up 260.4 per cent compared to the 2020 average, according to new data from the Central Statistics Office.

Other wholesale energy fuels also increased in price, and the index for all energy products was up by 160.6 per cent on 2020.

Overall, factory gate prices increased by 4.5 per cent in December compared with the same period the year before.

That figure compares with an annual increase of 0.2 per cent in the year to November. Monthly factory gate prices remain unchanged in December compared to a decrease of 4.1 per cent for December 2020.

In the month, the price index for export sales remains unchanged, while home sales increased by 1 per cent. On an annual basis, there was an increase of 4.3 per cent in the price for export sales and an increase of 5.9 per cent in respect of the price index for home sales.

Prices in some construction materials showed large increases during 2021. Timber prices increased, with the 2021 average price for rough timber up 43.1 per cent, while other timber increased by 20 per cent on 2020.

Prices for steel products also rose, with the overall category structural steel and reinforcing metal up by 17 per cent, while other structural steel increased by 44.7 per cent on the 2020 average.

Overall prices received by Irish producers declined by 5.3 per cent in 2021 following on from a decrease of 8.7 per cent in 2020. The price index for goods sold on the home market increased by 2.3 per cent in 2021, having decreased by 1.4 per cent in 2020.

The price index for exported goods decreased by 5.5 per cent in 2021 following a decrease of 9 per cent in the previous year.

Market demand

Producer prices were affected by a number of factors during 2021 including fluctuations in the euro exchange rate and market demand. Exchange rates made a significant contribution to price changes during 2021. Other global factors also had a major effect on market demand during the year.

The overall index for the food, beverages and tobacco sector increased by 0.2 per cent in 2021 compared with a decrease of 1.5 per cent in 2020. The index for food products increased by 0.2 per cent in 2021 while beverages increased by 0.4 per cent.

Within the food sector, prices decreased for other food products (-6.7 per cent) and fish and fish products (-0.7 per cent). There were increases in the prices for meat and meat products (+11.2 per cent) and dairy products (+9 per cent).