Food: Global Prices Up 8% in 2017

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.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

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.

The FAO Cereal Price Index averaged 152.7 points in December, down marginally from November but still up 7.4 percent from December 2016. Ample supplies and slower sales contributed to weaker wheat prices. However, international maize prices firmed slightly, mostly reflecting weather concerns in Argentina, while those of rice also inched up further, amid continued firm demand and currency appreciations in some leading exporting countries. Over the year, the FAO Cereal Price Index averaged 151.6 points in 2017, up 3.2 percent from 2016 but still some 37 percent below its peak reached in 2011.

The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index averaged 162.6 points in December, down 9.6 points (5.6 percent) from November, marking a 5-month low. The drop mainly reflects lower quotations for palm, rapeseed and soybean oils. International palm oil prices tumbled, as stocks in Malaysia and Indonesia swelled to two-year highs on the back of relatively strong production and weak export demand. As to rape oil, upward revisions of crops in Canada and Australia weighed on prices, whereas soy oil quotations were pressured by rival palm oil. For the year as a whole, the FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index averaged nearly 169 points, up 3 percent from 2016 but still well below the peaks recorded in 2008 and 2011.

The FAO Meat Price Index* averaged 171.6 points in December, marginally below its slightly revised value of November. International price quotations for bovine meat fell, pressured by increased offerings in both domestic and international markets. However, pig, poultry and ovine meat quotations changed only little, reflecting an overall balanced supply and demand situation. For the year, the FAO Meat Price Index averaged 170 points in 2017, up 9 percent from 2016 but 4.7 percent below the average for the preceding five years (2012-2016). In 2017, ovine meat prices recorded the largest increase, followed by those of pigmeat, poultry and bovine meat.

The FAO Dairy Price Index averaged 184.4 points in December, down 19.8 points (9.7 percent) from November, marking the third successive month of decline. High export supplies in the face of subdued demand weighed on the international prices of all the four milk products that constitute the Index. Uncertainty over the intervention stocks in the EU continued to put downward pressure on international price quotations for skim milk powder (SMP). Overall, the FAO Dairy Price Index averaged 202.2 points in 2017, up 31.5 percent from 2016, with the largest increase recorded for butter followed by whole milk powder (WMP) and cheese, whereas SMP prices remained stable.

The FAO Sugar Price Index averaged 204 points in December, down 8.6 points (4.1 percent) from November. After a relatively strong rebound in November, international sugar quotations fell back in December due to seasonal pressure, subdued demand and expectations of a large surplus in 2018.  Over the year, the FAO Sugar Price Index averaged 227.3 points in 2017, down 11.2 percent from 2016 and as much as 38 percent from its 2011 peak of 369 points. The fall in sugar prices in 2017 largely reflected a bumper harvest in Brazil, the world’s largest producer, along with strong production recoveries in India and Thailand.

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Food: Global Prices at the End of 2018

January 2019

In December, the FAO food price index fell 4% compared to the same month in 2017, explained by the decline in prices of meat, dairy products, vegetable oils and sugar.

From FAO's monthly report:

The FAO Food Price Index* (FFPI) averaged 161.7 points in December 2018, nearly unchanged from its November value as lower dairy and sugar quotations were largely offset by firmer cereal prices and somewhat higher prices of meat and oils. For the whole of 2018, the FFPI averaged 168.4 points, down 3.5 percent from 2017 and almost 27 percent below the highest level of 230 points reached in 2011. Sugar values dropped the most in 2018, with also vegetable oil, meat and dairy prices registering year-on-year decreases. However, international prices of all major cereals rose in 2018.

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December 2018

In November, the FAO Food Price Index fell 8% compared to the same month in 2017, caused by lower prices for meat, dairy products, cereals and sugar.

From FAO's monthly report:

» The FAO Food Price Index* (FFPI) averaged 160.8 points in November 2018, down 2.1 points (1.3 percent) from October, the lowest since May 2016, and nearly 15 points (8.5 percent) below its level in the corresponding period last year.

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World food prices fell slightly in November, as the decline in prices of dairy products offset a sharp increase in the prices of sugar and vegetable oils.

From a statement by the World Food Organization (FAO):

7 December 2017, Rome - Global food prices declined marginally in November, as lower dairy prices offset a sharp increase in sugar and vegetable oil quotations, according to the latest FAO Food Price Index issued today.

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January 2017

The FAO food price index remained unchanged in comparison to November, with substantial increases in the prices of vegetable oils and dairy products which more than offset a fall in sugar and meat.

From a statement issued by the World Food Organization: