Selling prices of agricultural products (absolute prices) (apri_ap)

Reference Metadata in Euro SDMX Metadata Structure (ESMS)

Compiling agency: Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union

Eurostat metadata
Reference metadata
1. Contact
2. Metadata update
3. Statistical presentation
4. Unit of measure
5. Reference Period
6. Institutional Mandate
7. Confidentiality
8. Release policy
9. Frequency of dissemination
10. Accessibility and clarity
11. Quality management
12. Relevance
13. Accuracy
14. Timeliness and punctuality
15. Coherence and comparability
16. Cost and Burden
17. Data revision
18. Statistical processing
19. Comment
Related Metadata
Annexes (including footnotes)

For any question on data and metadata, please contact: EUROPEAN STATISTICAL DATA SUPPORT


1. Contact Top
1.1. Contact organisation

Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union

1.2. Contact organisation unit

E1: Agriculture and fisheries

1.5. Contact mail address

Postal address: Rue Alcide de Gasperi L-2920 Luxembourg LUXEMBOURG

2. Metadata update Top
2.1. Metadata last certified 24/07/2020
2.2. Metadata last posted 24/07/2020
2.3. Metadata last update 24/07/2020

3. Statistical presentation Top
3.1. Data description

Agricultural prices are crucial variables for the purposes of decision-making in economic activities, as they provide basic information for many socio-economic models calculation, econometric modelling or to determinate price elasticities.

Eurostat collects and publishes agricultural absolute prices from the Member States, which comprise:

  •  the prices “received” by farmers for their products (output prices)
  •  the prices “paid” by farmers related to means of production (input prices)

The absolute agricultural prices are especially used for (1) comparisons between Member States and (2) for economic analyses.

To achieve these objectives, much progress has already been made in the harmonisation of the time series across Member States, by adopting common concepts and definitions. The Member States gather information on selected items fulfilling agreed criteria, i.e. significant in value relative to national agricultural production or possibly of increasing relevance.

The agricultural prices, transmitted in national currency, are converted into Euros since 1998 (into ECU until 31.12.1998).

3.2. Classification system

The general structure of the EU list of output and input absolute prices has been agreed by the Working Group on Agricultural Accounts and Prices, based on both item-specific characteristics and marketing stage.

3.3. Coverage - sector

Agricultural prices cover prices of agricultural products (goods including crops, livestock and livestock products) and prices of necessary input products for agricultural production (goods including energy and lubricants fertilisers, feed), at various stage of marketing.

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions

The "output" price is the average price received by farmers on the market for an agricultural commodity, produced within a specified 12-month period. This price is measured at the farm gate, i.e. at the point where the commodity leaves the farm and, therefore, does not cover the costs for transport or processing.

The "input" price is the average price paid by a farmer for buying means of agricultural production within a specified 12-month period. This price is measured at the farm gate and, therefore, the input price covers the costs of transport and processing, but it can be calculated from the average of retail purchase price for the farmer.


Comparability in prices of the products and means of production depends on specific characteristics of the products (e.g. packing, quality factors, delivery conditions). These characteristics influence the price level of a specific product or means of production. Strict comparability between Member States would require that these characteristics are the same for all the prices collected in each country, which is unrealistic.

Therefore, the agreed price measurement considers only the marketing stage, the treatment of taxes, levies and subsidies and the common target definitions, limited to the most important characteristics determining prices.

3.5. Statistical unit

The statistical units are the trade transactions that the farmer actually undertakes. Prices should be recorded at points that are as close as possible to these transactions, the output prices at the first marketing stage (from the producer to the trade) and the input prices at the last marketing stage (from the trade to the producer).

3.6. Statistical population

The transactions by the national farm, as a single holding treating the whole agricultural sector, are intended to be represented in the EU absolute prices.

3.7. Reference area

The agricultural prices refer to the Member States (national level).

3.8. Coverage - Time

Absolute prices are collected annually and the series published in the Eurostat database start, for some prices and some Member States, in the 1970’s.

Monthly prices have been published until 2005 (included).

3.9. Base period

Not applicable

4. Unit of measure Top

The absolute prices are expressed in national currency by the Member States. They are converted into Euros for those Member States outside the Eurozone.

The quantities, which the prices refer to, are expressed:

  •  for crops, in 100 kg or 100 litres (liquid products such as olive oil and wine)
  •  for livestock, in 100 kg live weight or per head
  •  for animal products, in 100 kg (including milk and honey), 100 kg carcass weight (meat), or 100 pieces (eggs)
  •  for means of production, in 100 kg, except for electricity (in 100 kWh) and heating gas oil, motor spirit, diesel oil (in 100 litres).

Absolute Prices are published in National Currency and in Euro.

5. Reference Period Top

The reference period is the calendar year.

6. Institutional Mandate Top
6.1. Institutional Mandate - legal acts and other agreements

Eurostat collects agricultural price statistics according to a gentleman's agreement with the Member States.

6.2. Institutional Mandate - data sharing

Not applicable

7. Confidentiality Top
7.1. Confidentiality - policy

Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 on European statistics (recital 24 and Article 20(4)) of March 11th 2009 (OJ L 87, p. 164), stipulates the need to establish common principles and guidelines ensuring the confidentiality of data used for the production of European statistics and the access to those confidential data with due account for technical developments and the requirements of users in a democratic society.

7.2. Confidentiality - data treatment

The absolute prices flagged by Member States as confidential with "C" are not published or disseminated. They are nevertheless stored in the Eurostat production database.

8. Release policy Top
8.1. Release calendar

The absolute agricultural price statistics are usually published by the end of April following the end of the reference year.

8.2. Release calendar access

Not applicable.

8.3. Release policy - user access

In line with the Community legal framework and the European Statistics Code of Practice, Eurostat disseminates European statistics on Eurostat's website respecting professional independence and in an objective, professional and transparent manner in which all users are treated equitably.

The detailed arrangements are governed by the Eurostat protocol on impartial access to Eurostat data for users.

9. Frequency of dissemination Top


10. Accessibility and clarity Top
10.1. Dissemination format - News release


10.2. Dissemination format - Publications

Results are published in the Statistical book Agriculture, forestry and fishery statistics and in Statistics Explained.

10.3. Dissemination format - online database

Data are disseminated in the Eurostat’s public database, accessible via Internet at

10.4. Dissemination format - microdata access

No microdata in Eurostat.

10.5. Dissemination format - other

Not applicable

10.6. Documentation on methodology

Over the years, several revisions have been made to the common methodology to be applied by all Member States. The latest agreed version of the methodology is described in the ''Handbook for EU Agricultural Price Statistics'' - Version 2.1, March 2015 (See annex at the bottom of the page).

10.7. Quality management - documentation

During the data validation process, Member States provide information and explanations on the transmitted data.

11. Quality management Top
11.1. Quality assurance

All procedures are documented and applied according to the following phases:

  • Data Transmission. Data structure is guaranteed by EDAMIS (Electronic Data Files Administration and Management Information System) which is the data collection system, of forms based on the SDMXml protocol.
  • Data Check, Validation and Processing. Data content is managed by an IT system of Multi-Dimensional Tables (MDT), where prices are checked, validated and processed (including currency conversion).  Moreover, accurate activities of revision and follow-up are carried out by countries and Eurostat, to ensure that the data meet integrity and aggregation criteria.
  • Data publication. The non-confidential prices are published in the Eurostat dissemination database.

At each stage, the data flows are recorded, enabling to trace afterwards the published data

11.2. Quality management - assessment

Eurostat analyses completeness and plausibility of the data transmitted by Member States during data collection, processing and analysis. Eurostat also provides a methodological framework to make data as comparable as possible among Member States, which entails structural and content validation.

The whole Eurostat process covers a monitoring activity of annual data transmissions, as well as interactions with countries when issues are identified to be discussed and worked out.

Furthermore, Working Group meetings are organised by Eurostat to meet countries and to discuss future activities with eventual developments/improvements, to present technical documents updates, to share good practice and to provide data quality assessment.

12. Relevance Top
12.1. Relevance - User Needs

The main users identified are DG AGRI and International organisations dealing with agricultural producer prices.

12.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

Not available

12.3. Completeness

Some data gaps occur due to the price availability or to confidentiality, if requested by the country.

13. Accuracy Top
13.1. Accuracy - overall

Not available.

13.2. Sampling error

Not applicable.

13.3. Non-sampling error

Not available.

14. Timeliness and punctuality Top
14.1. Timeliness

Absolute prices are agreed to be sent to Eurostat 60 days after the end of the reference year.

14.2. Punctuality

Absolute prices are published on the Eurostat’s database after performing the validation procedures, including contribution to validation of the agricultural price indices.

15. Coherence and comparability Top
15.1. Comparability - geographical

Euro is the common currency for comparisons among the Member States. Comparability of the time series is improved by converting the prices expressed in national currency into Euro (from 1st January 1999 onwards) or ECUs (until 31st December 1998).

15.2. Comparability - over time

Fixed conversion rates of former national currencies into Euro were applied for Eurozone, whereas the conversion rates are updated annually for the other countries.

15.3. Coherence - cross domain

Agricultural absolute prices are intended to be used in the generation of agricultural price indices and they must be coherent.

15.4. Coherence - internal

The validation aims to ensure minimum coherence, inconsistencies being highlighted as prices outliers within the time series and within the sets of national prices for each product.

16. Cost and Burden Top

Not available

17. Data revision Top
17.1. Data revision - policy

Member States may revise their data for providing final information.

17.2. Data revision - practice

All the revised prices are checked before their loading into the Eurostat public database. Any unforeseen revision must be explained.

18. Statistical processing Top
18.1. Source data

The main sources of agricultural prices used to generate the absolute prices are:

  • Samples of producers selling directly to the consumers
  • Records of transaction as part of an administrative process
  • Administered prices
  • Enquiries to bodies purchasing agricultural products or selling means of production.
18.2. Frequency of data collection

In the framework of the EU, the frequency of agricultural prices collection has changed over time:

  • monthly and annual prices were collected up to 2005 (included)
  • only annual prices are collected since 2006.
18.3. Data collection

The data are collected by EU Member States and transmitted to Eurostat using a standard webForm, via the Eurostat Single-Entry Point (EDAMIS).

18.4. Data validation

The data validation process includes the following steps:

  • content validation that checks incorrect values for indices such as zero value, negative values, etc.
  • outliers detection by analysing the consistency of concerned times series within the country and among Member States
  • warnings on missing data.
18.5. Data compilation

Further operations are not performed, as EU aggregates are not computed for agricultural absolute prices.

18.6. Adjustment

No adjustment is applied.

19. Comment Top

No additional comment.

Related metadata Top
apri_pi_esms - Price indices of agricultural products

Annexes Top
Handbook on Agricultural Product and Input Price Statistics 2020