World food prices in decline

Global food prices dipped last month, but cereal production prospects set to increase, report reveals.


By Sam Mehmet, New Food

9 September 2019


Last month (August) saw a decline in global food prices driven by a sharp dip in staple cereals and sugar prices, according to a report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).


The FAO Food Price Index is a measure of the monthly change in international prices of a basket of food commodities and allows for forecasts to be made.


The FAO Cereal Price Index averaged 157.6 points in August, down by 6.4 percent (10.8 points) from July and 6.6 percent (11.1 points) from the corresponding month last year. Similar to the drop in July, this fall in value reflects sharp declines in the prices of wheat and major coarse grains, particularly maize. This was due to expectations of a much larger than previously anticipated harvest in the USA, the world’s largest maize producer and exporter...


... The Meat Price Index rose by 0.5 percent to 179.8 points, now up 12.3 percent from its value at the start of 2019. The increase reflected higher international price quotations for pig-meat, influenced by strong import demand from China, where the African Swine Fewer has restricted domestic production.


The Dairy Price Index rose by 0.5 percent from its July level to 194.5 points, which contrasts sharp dips in previous months, as price quotations rose for cheese, skim milk powder and whole milk powder.


FAO also released a new Cereal Supply and Demand Brief, increasing its July forecast for global cereal output by 22 million tonnes to a total of 2,708 million tonnes; 2.1 percent above the 2018 outturn.


The revisions mostly reflect improved expectations for US maize production...