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Agriculture producer price index up 17%

The agriculture producer price index for the first quarter this year increased by 16.8 per cent, while a drop of 2.6 per cent was registered in the input price index over the comparative period last year.

The National Statistics Office said the quarterly producer price index for agricultural products stood at 126.27 points, an increase of 16.8 per cent over 2014, when it stood at 108.08 points.

Underpinning this result was an increase of 89.1 per cent in the fresh vegetables price index due to a general drop in the supply of fresh vegetables. Higher producer prices were registered for onions (362.1 per cent), vegetable marrows (263.6 per cent) and cauliflowers (171.3 per cent).

In contrast, the price of potatoes dropped by 6.0 per cent.

During the period under review, prices for fresh fruit decreased by 0.6 per cent when compared to last year. This was due to an increase in citrus fruit production, where the price of oranges declined by 10.4 per cent.

The animal slaughtering index went down by 2.5 per cent, as lower prices were registered for the majority of slaughtered animals mainly rabbits (3.6 per cent) and pigs (3.4 per cent).

Furthermore, the animal products index decreased by 4.2 per cent on account of lower producer prices fetched for eggs (10.1 per cent).

The quarterly input price index for agriculture stood at 110.55 points, down by 2.6 per cent, compared to 2014, when it stood at 113.53 points.

The goods and services index, which records movements in running costs, decreased by 4.2 per cent over the same period last year. This was due to lower prices of animal feed (6.6 per cent) and motor fuels (3.5 per cent) over 2014.

The machinery and investment index increased by four per cent. This was mainly due to higher prices paid for buildings (five per cent) and materials (2.2 per cent).

Source: Times of Malta

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