World food prices lowest in over two years
ROME: World food prices declined in November to their lowest in more than two years, led by declines in vegetable oils, dairy and cereal, the U.N. food agency said Thursday.
The Food and Agriculture Organization’s Food Price Index, measuring monthly changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat and sugar, averaged 160.8 points last month, its lowest since May 2016. Only the Sugar Price Index gained, rising 4.4 percent from October, the FAO said.
The U.N. body’s Cereal Price Index averaged almost 164 points in November, down 1.1 percent from October. Vegetable oil prices fell for a 10th straight month, by 7.6 percent, reaching a 12-year low.
Cereal prices fell partly because new crops weighed on rice export quotations and export competition drove down maize, the FAO said. Palm oil prices fell greatly “fueled by both persisting large inventories in leading exporting countries and the recent contraction in global mineral oil prices,” it said.
Soy and sunflower oil prices weakened due to “abundant supplies across the U.S., the EU and several emerging markets and positive production prospects in the Black Sea region.” Dairy prices fell 3.3 percent from October, for a sixth straight monthly decline, and meat prices slipped slightly.
The FAO’s 2018-19 forecast for world wheat production was 725.1 million tons, 2.8 million tons lower than the previous forecast. –