August global food prices decline, shows FAO report

Global food and agricultural price index dropped for the fourth month in a row in August, reaching its lowest level since June 2012, according to the Food and Agricultural Organisation Price Index report for 201
Cereal output is projected to rise, according to the FAO report. The New Times / File
Cereal output is projected to rise, according to the FAO report. The New Times / File

Global food and agricultural price index dropped for the fourth month in a row in August, reaching its lowest level since June 2012, according to the Food and Agricultural Organisation Price Index report for 2013.

The index, which measures the monthly change in the international prices of a basket of food commodities, averaged 201.8 points in August 2013, nearly four points below its July value and 11 points less in August 2012.

Last month’s decline was mainly driven by continued falls in the international prices of cereals and oils, according to David Hallam, the Food and Agricultural Organisation director of trade and markets division.

However, dairy, global meat and sugar prices rose slightly, according to the index.

Peter Lowrey of the FAO media relations office in Rome, said the Cereal Price Index averaged 210.9 points in August, down 16.4 points from July and 49.4 points from August 2012.

“It said the steep decline reflects expectations for a strong growth in world cereal production this year and, especially, a sharp recovery in maize supplies,” Lowrey said.

The Oil Price Index, according to FAO, averaged 185.5 points in August, 5.7 points below the July value and the third consecutive monthly decline.  Dairy Price Index averaged 239.1 points in August, 2.8 points more than in July and 37 per cent above its level in August last year.

The index revealed that prices increased last month for all the dairy products that make up the index, except butter, as export supplies remain limited in major trading countries. Meat Price Index averaged 175.0 points in August, an increase of 2.2 points.

However, Rwanda’s general food index was established at 122.5 last month, reflecting a 1.17 per cent increase, according to Oscar Sibomana, the Rwanda National Institute of Statistics principal statistician.

According to the FAO report, a new forecast of world cereal production in 2013 is expected to rise to 2,492 million tonnes.

World rice production is set to increase by 1.3 per cent, reaching a new high of 497 million tonnes in milled equivalent.

Global cereal utilisation in 2013/14 is projected at 2,413 million tonnes, down marginally from the previous forecast, but still 3.2 per cent higher than in 2012/13.

 

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