ROME, ITALY – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reported on Nov. 3 that its Cereal Price Index declined in October by 1% from the previous month. International rice prices dropped by 2% amid generally passive global import demand, while those of wheat dropped by 1.9%, weighed on by strong supplies from the United States and strong competition among exporters. By contrast, quotations for coarse grains rose slightly, led by maize due to thinning supplies in Argentina.

The Vegetable Oil Price Index decreased by 0.7% from September, as lower world palm oil prices, due to seasonally higher outputs and subdued global import demand, more than offset higher prices for soy, sunflower and rapeseed oils. Soy oil prices rose owing to a robust demand from the biodiesel sector.

The Sugar Price Index declined by 2.2% but remained 46.6% above its year-earlier level, and the Meat Price Index declined by 0.6%, as sluggish import demand especially from East Asia led to a fall in the international prices of pig meat, more than offsetting marginal increases in the prices of poultry, bovine and ovine meats.

In contrast, the FAO Dairy Price Index rose by 2.2% in October, ending a nine-month decline.

The FAO Food Price Index, which tracks monthly changes in the international prices of a set of globally-traded food commodities, averaged 120.6 points in October, down 10.9% from its corresponding value a year earlier.