World food prices hit 15-month high in Au­gust: FAO

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business -

WORLD food prices rose in Au­gust to their high­est since May 2015, as in­creases in dairy, oils and sugar off­set a drop in ce­real prices, the United Na­tions food agency said on Thurs­day.

The rise in the Food and Agri­cul­ture Or­gan­i­sa­tion’s (FAO) in­dex puts food prices back on an up­ward path af­ter drop­ping slightly in July. The in­dex hit a seven-year low in Jan­uary.

“We seem to have reached the bot­tom for food prices in gen­eral some months back, and I think what we are see­ing goes some way to con­firm that,” said FAO se­nior econ­o­mist Ab­dol­reza Ab­bassian.

Ab­bassian said a drop back to Jan­uary’s lev­els was un­likely but he did not ex­pect a re­turn to his­toric highs ei­ther. In July, FAO forecast broadly sta­ble prices over the next decade.

Food prices on global mar­kets were al­most seven per­cent higher in Au­gust than in the same month last year. The in­dex mea­sures a bas­ket of ce­re­als, oilseeds, dairy prod­ucts, meat and sugar.

Only ce­re­als dropped in value in Au­gust, weighed down by prospects for a bumper har­vest. Ab­bassian said con­fu­sion over an Egyp­tian ban on wheat con­tain­ing a cer­tain fun­gus was also hav­ing an im­pact. “These things are prob­a­bly go­ing to keep ce­re­als in check,” Ab­bassian said, adding, “the United States seems to be head­ing for quite an amaz­ing, big crop but this is not the sit­u­a­tion with any of the other crops.”

FAO raised its forecast for world ce­real pro­duc­tion in the 2016-17 sea­son to nearly 2.566 bil­lion tonnes, 1.6 per­cent higher than in 2015. It forecast both world wheat and rice out­put hit­ting new records.

The over­all food price in­dex av­er­aged 165.6 points in Au­gust, 1.9 per­cent above the month be­fore. — Reuters

Cus­tomers throng au­to­mo­tive spare parts re­tailer, Mo­to­vac Group, as the shop opened doors in Bu­l­awayo yes­ter­day

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.