A bleak picture of falling farm incomes across Europe in 2014 is revealed by the release of the year’s first estimates by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
Compared with 2013, the value of EU28 agricultural output, in terms of producer prices, in 2014 is estimated to have decreased by 3.4%, mainly due to a marked fall in real terms in the value of crop production, down 6% and a smaller decrease in the value of animal output, down 0.9%.
The fall in the value of crop production, looked at in terms of pure prices, was 9.5%, a decline which has been partly counterbalanced by an increase in output volume which rose 3.8% during the year. The big price losers during 2014 were potatoes (-24.5%), oilseeds (-14.7%), cereals (-13.9%) and sugar beet (-11.6%).
The decrease in the value of animal production was also made up of a fall in prices of 2.8%, partly counterbalanced by an increase in volume, which rose by 1.9%.
The biggest price decline was suffered by pigs, down 6.1%, with only a 0.6% increase in volume showing through as a balancing factor.
Cattle (-5.2%), eggs (-5.0%) and poultry (-4.3%) were the other major price losers on the livestock front.