Farm Product Price Index, March 2018
The Farm Product Price Index (FPPI) declined 1.6% in March compared with the same month a year earlier, primarily due to lower livestock prices. This was the second consecutive decrease following seven monthly year-over-year increases.
The livestock and animal products index was down 3.6%, the first drop since April 2017 as prices for most livestock commodities were lower this March compared with March 2017. The hogs index (-10.0%) recorded the largest decrease, as fewer hogs were processed and exports of hogs and pork were down during the first quarter of 2018 compared with the same quarter last year.
The cattle and calves index was virtually unchanged (-0.2%) as lower slaughter cattle prices just offset higher feeder cattle prices.
For the supply-managed commodities, both dairy (-5.1%) and poultry (-1.5%) were down, while eggs (+0.5%) were the only livestock and animal products commodity to increase.
The crops index was up 0.3% compared with March 2017, the first increase since November 2017. Higher prices for grains and horticulture crops more than offset lower oilseed prices and a continued slide in specialty crop prices.
The grains index (+6.5%) continued its year-over-year increases, which began in July 2017 supported by demand for Canada's higher protein wheat, the better-than-average quality of the durum crop and higher feed grain prices.
The oilseed index was down 1.0% compared with March 2017, the third and largest year-over-year decrease this year, as prices were lower for both soybeans and flaxseed. There were ample supplies of soybeans on farms at the end of March, in the wake of record production in the fall of 2017.
Specialty crop prices continued to decline on a year-over-year basis along with exports, as India, Canada's largest market for pea and lentils, continued to impose import duties on these crops.
The FPPI edged up 0.3% in March from a month earlier, the fourth consecutive increase. An increase in the crops index partly offset a decline in the livestock and animal products index.
Note to readers
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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