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Crops price index drops for May: StatsCan

Prices farmers received for their commodities fell 4.8 per cent in May compared with May a year earlier, as the crops index fell, offsetting an increase in the total livestock and animal products index, Statistics Canada reported.

The prices producers received for crops in May were 14.4 per cent lower compared with May 2008, the federal statistics agency said Thursday. Higher prices for potatoes, fruit and vegetables were unable to compensate for lower prices for grains, oilseeds and specialty crops.

Total Canadian stocks for all major grains and oilseeds increased in the first quarter of 2009 compared with the same quarter of 2008, the result of strong production in 2008.

Prices producers received for livestock and animal products in May increased two per cent compared with May 2008, continuing the growth in year-over-year prices observed since June 2008, StatsCan said.

Increases were recorded for all commodities except hogs and eggs. Higher cattle prices have been supported by lower input costs and reduced inventory.

On a month-over-month basis, StatsCan’s total Farm Product Price Index (FPPI) decreased from 118.4 (1997=100) in April to 117.8 in May.

The total crops index rose 1.5 per cent in May compared with the April index, as oilseeds and potatoes recorded increases. Weather in Western Canada had an impact on crop development and delayed seeding for some producers.

In May, the overall livestock and animal products index stood at 107.7, down from the April level of 111.4. Decreases were recorded for all commodities except dairy.

The hogs index fell 8.3 per cent, the second consecutive month-over-month decrease since July 2008. Hog prices were affected by the H1N1 virus and the resulting border restrictions placed on North American pork.

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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