French Farm Costs Rose 4.3% in 2012 on Energy and Feed

French farm-production costs rose about 4.3 percent last year on higher expenses for energy and animal feed, with the biggest rise for livestock breeders, the Agriculture Ministry reported.

An index of agricultural-input costs averaged 134.2 points in 2012, the ministry wrote in a report on its website today, compared with 128.6 points reported for 2011. The cost of agricultural inputs jumped 7 percent in December, it said.

The cost of animal feed, which makes up about a quarter of the index, advanced 6.7 percent last year, the report showed. Energy and lubricants, making up about 11 percent of farmers’ costs, increased 9.2 percent.

“After a surge in August, the prices haven’t stopped rising through to December, linked to a strong price push for animal feed,” the ministry wrote. “In December 2012, the purchasing price for animal feed continues its increase.”

The index for fertilizer, accounting for 12 percent of farming costs, climbed 4.2 percent last year and expenses for seeds and planting material rose 3.5 percent, the report showed.

Farmers of commodity crops saw costs climb 3.4 percent last year, according to the ministry. Expenses for livestock and dairy producers that graze their animals rose 4.4 percent, while costs for those that keep pigs, cattle and poultry indoors jumped 5.5 percent in 2012, the report showed.

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