../Morning Post
Posted April 20, 2011

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Prices

Farm Product Price Index

Statscan - In February, prices farmers received for their commodities rose 14.4% from February 2010, as both the crops index and livestock and animal products index advanced. The advance in February was the largest increase in an upward trend which started in August 2010.

The prices producers received for crops in February were 21.0% higher compared with the same month in 2010, led by increases in oilseeds, grains and potatoes. Estimates for oilseed stocks continued to tighten, fuelled by growing demand from emerging economies and biofuels.

The International Grains Council reported that global carryover grain stocks are set to fall to their lowest level in three years. At the end of January, the Canadian Wheat Board increased the initial price that producers receive for wheat and barley for the second time this crop year.

In February, the potato index was 16.0% higher than the year earlier level, as North American production in the fall of 2010 fell 7.0% to the lowest level this decade.

The prices producers received for livestock and animal products in February rose 11.4% compared with February 2010, as increases were recorded in all livestock commodities. Cattle and calves and hogs, the largest contributors to the livestock index, have posted year-over-year increases in the last 9 and 11 months respectively.

Over the last few years, livestock producers have been affected by the US Country of Origin Labeling legislation, lower demand driven by the economic situation and higher feed grain costs. By the end of 2010, the number of cattle on Canadian farms had declined to their lowest level since January 1995, while hog inventories (+0.6%) recorded their first increase on a year-over-year basis since April 1, 2006.

In February, the total index rose 3.7% from January as all commodities except fruit posted increases. This was the third consecutive monthly increase.

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Note: The growth rate of the total Farm Product Price Index (FPPI) is derived from a weighted average of the component indices using a different set of weights in consecutive months; it is not a weighted average of the growth rates of its crop and livestock components. Given this, the growth rate of the composite FPPI can lie outside the growth rate of these components.

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