FAO Food Price Index eases in October

by Holly Demaree
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Feed being prepped for Dairy cattle in Belarus
Feed being prepped for dairy cattle in Yachevo, Belarus.
Photo courtesy of FAO.
 
ROME, ITALY – Global food prices dipped in October, led lower by dairy products, averaging 27% below its all-time high reached in early 2011, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

The FAO Food Price Index averaged 176.4 points for the month of October, down 1.3% from September while still up 2.5% from a year earlier.

The FAO Food Price Index is a measure of the monthly change in international prices of a basket of food commodities.

The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index also declined, easing 1.1% from its September value, as key palm and soy oil prices eased in light of positive production prospects.

The FAO Cereal Price Index edged up a notch, rising 0.4% led by higher rice prices even as wheat quotations were generally lower.

Global cereal production in 2017 is forecast to surpass the 2016 peak by a small margin, according to the FAO’s latest Cereal Supply and Demand Brief.

Worldwide production of coarse grains is set to reach a new record, due in part to expansion in South America and southern Africa. Wheat production, by contrast, is forecast to decline slightly due mostly to lower harvest volumes foreseen in the United States, the FAO said. Global rice output, on the other hand, is expected to remain broadly stable.

The FAO’s latest estimates point to a 1% expansion in world cereal utilization in the coming year, with world cereal stocks on course to set a new record level by the close of seasons in 2018. Global stocks of rice and coarse grains are projected to hit record highs, while those of wheat already have.

Given the ample size of export supplies, the FAO said competition among major exporters in the year ahead is expected to remain stiff, with expanding world trade volumes in maize, sorghum and rice offsetting an expected decline in wheat.
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