The producer price indices provide information about developments in the prices of fruit, vegetables, animals, and animal products over a particular period, whereas input price indices monitor changes in the purchase prices of raw and auxiliary materials and services from other industries. Output price indices are calculated using ‘producer prices’, which are prices obtained by farmers, excluding subsidies. Input price indices are calculated using purchase prices of raw and auxiliary materials and services. Both the output and input prices used in the calculation of output and input indices are calculated net of VAT.
There is no official EU Regulation but data related to producer/input price indices are collected and transmitted to Eurostat according to a gentleman’s agreement with the Member States.
Administrative sources are mainly used in the compilation of the producer price index. These administrative sources include the Malta Food Agency (MFA); the public abattoir; private poultry slaughterhouses; the Agricultural Directorate within the Ministry for Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal rights (MAFA), the private dairy plant and tomato processors. The retail price of slaughtered rabbits is obtained from the Price Statistics Unit within the NSO.
For the Input price indices, quarterly data related to the purchase prices of a number of raw and auxiliary materials are obtained from the major retail outlets specialising in the provision of agricultural products. In addition, for a number of items, the respective price is compiled on the basis of data provided from the Price Statistics Unit, Short-term Business Statistics Unit, and International Trade in Goods Unit within the NSO.
Accuracy and reliability of data
Producer/input agriculture price data are checked for consistency and compared with data from the previous period. In case discrepancies in the prices used for the compilation of the indices emerge, data are checked in detail and where necessary the respective administrative source is re-contacted.
Timeliness and punctuality of data
At a national level, no news release is published. Data are always collected and sent to Eurostat within the timeframes stipulated. Quarterly price indices are transmitted not later than 45 days after the end of the reference quarter; annual price indices are transmitted not later than 60 days after the end of the reference year; and annual estimates of price indices are transmitted not later than 45 days before the end of the reference year.
Accessibility and clarity of data
Data related to the producer and input price indices can be downloaded from Eurostat’s online database.
A metadata report is produced at a national level and is available on the NSO’s metadata website.
Coherence and comparability / consistency of data
The Agricultural Price Indices refer to Malta at a national level. No indices are produced at a regional level. Annual and quarterly data are available from year 2000 onwards.
The data are comparable with that of other countries due to the adoption of common methodological guidelines.
While annual indices are comparable, the comparison between quarterly price indices can only be made between the corresponding quarters of different years. This is due to variation among weights from quarter to quarter for the output products.