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 regulation with Eurostat but data related to producer/input price indices is 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 Pitkali Markets, the Farmer Central Co-operative Society (FCCS), and Gozitano; the Civil abattoir; private poultry slaughter houses; the Department of Agriculture, and the Malta Dairy Products Ltd. The retail price of slaughtered rabbits is obtained from the Price Statistics Unit within the NSO.
Major retail outlets specialising in the provision of agricultural products used for intermediate consumption, provide quarterly data on input prices. In addition, these are compiled on the basis of data provided from the Price Statistics, Short-term Statistics, and International Trade Statistics Units within the NSO.
Accuracy and reliability of data
Producer/input agriculture price data is 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 is checked in detail and where necessary the respective administrative source is re-contacted.
Timeliness and punctuality of data
A quarterly news release related to producer/input agricultural price indices was published on the NSO’s website as scheduled in the Advance Release Calendar up to reference quarter Q4 of 2015. Data for a particular quarter under review was published in the following quarter.
Data is 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
Tables on producer/input agriculture price indices are also included in an annual publication ‘Agriculture and Fisheries’ which is available on the NSO’s website up to reference year 2014.
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 is available from year 2000 onwards.
The data is comparable to data of other European Union member states since all countries follow the established methodological guidelines in compiling the price indices.
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.