FarmPolicy

November 21, 2019

FAO Food Price Index Declines…Again

A news release on Thursday from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) stated that, “The FAO Food Price Index declined to a 55-month low in February, dropping 1.0 percent from January and 14 percent below its level a year earlier.

“Lower prices for cereals, meat and especially sugar more than offset an increase in milk and palm oil prices.

“The FAO Food Price Index averaged 179.4 points in February, down from 181.2 points in January and 208.6 points in February 2014.”

The update explained that, “Its ongoing decline – to its lowest level since July 2010 – reflects robust supply conditions as well as ongoing weakness in many currencies versus the U.S. dollar, which appear set to continue, said Michael Griffin, FAO’s dairy and livestock market expert.”

Bloomberg writer Rudy Ruitenberg reported on Thursday that, “‘We’re looking forward to very good crops in many countries,’ Concepcion Calpe, an FAO economist in Rome, said by phone Thursday. ‘Supplies appear to be very, very abundant and more than sufficient to cover the expected demand. With the kind of reserves we have today, it would take a lot of changes in the forecast to change the trend’ for food prices, she said.

“A gauge of grain costs dropped 3.2 percent from January and is down 14 percent from a year earlier, the report showed.”

The Bloomberg article added that, “Global grain production rose 0.8 percent to 2.542 billion metric tons last year, 0.3 percent higher than the agency’s previous estimate, it said in a separate report. World stockpiles will climb 8.6 percent to 630.5 million tons by the end of June, a second consecutive annual increase.”

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