Farm Product Price Index rises in March 2012
Statscan - Prices farmers received for their commodities in March rose 2.0% from March 2011, as the increase in overall livestock and animal product prices more than offset lower crop prices. The total index has trended upward since August 2010; however, there has been a continual slowdown of growth since October 2011.
The 12-month change in the Farm Product Price Index
The livestock and animal products index (+6.8%) continued its year-over-year growth that started in May 2010. Meanwhile, the crops index (-3.5%) declined for the second consecutive month, following a growth trend that started in August 2010.
Advances continued for all livestock commodities except dairy (-1.5%), with increases ranging from 3.4% for poultry to 13.4% for cattle and calves. Lower supplies of cattle and hogs in North America and higher input costs for supply-managed commodities supported the year-over-year growth trends.
The decline in the crops index was largely the result of a drop in the grains index (-10.7%), while fruit (-0.6%) also declined. This marked the fourth consecutive decline of the grains index, following a 17-month year-over-year growth trend. As harvest progresses in the southern hemisphere, at the beginning of April, the International Grains Council continued to forecast a record global 2011/2012 grain crop.
The decline in the total crops index was moderated by increases in the remaining crop commodities, ranging from 1.0% for vegetables to 13.1% for specialty crops. The specialty crop index continued its year-over-year growth trend that started in April 2011, as reduced Canadian and world supplies as well as a higher quality harvest for some crops were experienced.
On a monthly basis, the Farm Product Price Index increased slightly, up 0.2% in March compared with February. The increase was primarily the result of higher prices for crops (+1.2%), as the livestock and animal products index (-0.5%) declined.