International Prices of Food - June 2015

In June prices of sugar and dairy products fell sharply, meat remained stable, while cereals and oils showed improvement.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

The FAO Food Price Index* averaged 165.1 points in June 2015, down 1.5 points (0.9 percent) from the previous month and almost 44 points (21.0 percent) down from June 2014. Price movements diverged across the various markets, with sugar and milk products incurring pronounced falls, while cereals and oils prices firmed somewhat. Meat prices were stable. Except for a lull in October 2014, the overall food price index has declined every month since April 2014.

» The FAO Cereal Price Index averaged 163.2 points in June, up 2.5 points (1.5 percent) from May, marking the first month-on-month rise since December 2014. Compared to June 2014, prices have fallen by as much as 33 points (17 percent). All of last month’s price strength stemmed from wheat and coarse grain prices, which gained 2 percent each, while rice quotations remained under pressure. Although unfavourable weather in some regions provided support to prices, the rise was contained, amid abundant carryover stocks and generally good production prospects.

» The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index averaged 156.2 points in June, up 2.1 points (or 1.3 percent) from May, but still 17 percent below its level in June last year. The recent rise was mainly driven by palm and soy oils. Palm oil quotations strengthened, underpinned by improved import demand (by China and India in particular) and continued concerns about dry weather related to El Niño in Southeast Asia. As for soy oil, the firming of prices reflected unusually wet conditions affecting soybean plantings and yield prospects in the United States. Prices of rapeseed also moved up, on account of unfavourable weather in major producing countries.

» The FAO Dairy Price Index averaged 160.5 points in June, down 6.9 points (4.1 percent) from May. Milk powders were the products most affected by the market weakness, although prices of butter and cheese also declined. A favourable opening to the dairy-year and the abolition of the milk quota system in the EU, along with large unsold dairy stocks in New Zealand weighed on the sector, amid uncertainty over the level of China’s dairy imports and the maintenance of import prohibitions by the Russian Federation.

» The FAO Meat Price Index* averaged 169.8 points in June, essentially unchanged at around this level since March. Prices for pigmeat moved higher, while those for bovine and ovine meat declined, with poultry little changed. After falling since June 2014, average pigmeat prices rose in both May and June, underpinned by a strengthening of quotations in Europe. For bovine meat, augmented domestic supplies in some markets meant that import demand weakened somewhat causing quotations to decrease.

» The FAO Sugar Price Index averaged 176.8 points in June, down 12.4 points (6.6 percent) from May 2015. The sharp decline was prompted by reports of higher than expected sugar production in India, the world’s largest sugar consumer, and Thailand. Better than forecasted output in Brazil, the world’s largest producer and exporter, helped by good harvesting conditions for most of the month of June also contributed to the general price decline. Early indications of a possible global production deficit in 2015/16, after five consecutive seasons of surpluses, were not sufficient to ease the downward pressure on sugar quotations.

* Unlike for other commodity groups, most prices utilized in the calculation of the FAO Meat Price Index are not available when the FAO Food Price Index is computed and published; therefore, the value of the Meat Price Index for the most recent months is derived from a mixture of projected and observed prices. This can, at times, require significant revisions in the final value of the FAO Meat Price Index which could in turn influence the value of the FAO Food Price Index.

More on this topic

Food: Global Prices up to June 2019

July 2019

In the sixth month of the year, the FAO food price index increased by 1% compared to the same month in 2018, explained by the increase in the prices of cereals, meat and sugar.

From FAO's monthly report:

The FAO Food Price Index* (FFPI) averaged 173 points in June 2019, down marginally (0.3 percent) from May and very close to its level in June 2018.

Food: Global Prices up to June 2018

July 2018

The FAO food price index registered an interannual decrease of close to 1%, due to weakening in most markets, as a result of tensions in international trade relations.

From the monthly FAO report: 

The FAO Food Price Index* (FFPI) averaged 173.7 points in June 2018, down 2.4 points (1.3 percent) from its level in May, representing the first month-on month decline since the beginning of this year. Most markets have generally taken-on a weaker tone recently largely because of rising tensions in international trade relations.

Food: Global Prices Up 8% in 2017

January 2018

The FAO food price index closed the year with an increase of 8% compared to 2016, the highest annual average since 2014, although it is still 24% below the maximum levels reached in 2011.

From the monthly report on the FAO food price index:

The FAO Food Price Index* (FFPI) averaged 169.8 points in December 2017, down 5.8 points (3.3 percent) from November with the steepest declines registered in the prices of dairy, vegetable oils and sugar while those of cereals and meat also fell but only slightly. For the whole of 2017, the FFPI averaged 174.6 points, up 8.2 percent from 2016 and representing the highest annual average since 2014 although still 24 percent below the 2011 high of almost 230 points. While sugar values plummeted in 2017, dairy and meat prices registered sharp year-on-year increases and those of cereals and oils rose too, albeit more modestly.

Global Food Prices - June 2016

July 2016

In June, the FAO food price index rose by 4% compared to May, making it the fifth consecutive month of increases in the index value.

From a communication issued by  the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO):