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Crop, livestock prices slip from 2008: StatsCan

Prices farmers received for their commodities fell 15.7 per cent in September 2009 from the same month a year earlier, as both the crops index and the livestock and animal products index declined, according to Statistics Canada.

The prices producers received for crops in September were 17.2 per cent lower compared with September 2008, the federal statistics agency said in a release Thursday.

The decline in the crops index was due to decreases recorded by all commodities except fruit and potatoes. This marks the 10th year-over-year decrease for the crops index. Before the slide, crop prices had recorded year-over-year increases from September 2006 until October 2008, when world grain and oilseed supplies were replenished by record harvests.

Potato prices in September were 4.5 per cent above those of September 2008. North American potato production this fall was 2.4 per cent above last year; however, this crop was the third smallest since 2001.

The prices producers received for livestock and animal products in September were down 10 per cent compared with September 2008. Decreases were recorded for all commodities. Hog and cattle prices have been affected by the U.S. government’s mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL) legislation, concerns about the H1N1 flu virus and lower demand driven by the economic situation.

On a month-to-month basis, the total index (1997=100) decreased from 110.8 in August to 104.0 in September.

The total crops index was down 8.8 per cent in September compared with the August index, as prices for all commodities except fruit and vegetables were lower. The potato index (down 17.1 per cent) and the grains index (down 14.3 per cent) recorded the largest drops.

After the challenging 2009 summer growing season, the much-needed dry and mild weather in September boosted crop development and helped the harvest progress. At the beginning of September, Canadian producers reported higher yields for most crops than those reported in the preliminary production survey taken at the end of July. Canadian and international production reports continue to increase expected production and subsequent supply of grains and oilseeds for this new crop year.

The overall livestock and animal products index remained unchanged from August, at 99.4.

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

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