FAO Food Price Index drops to nearly seven-year low

The FAO Food Price Index fell in January, slipping 1.9% below its level in the last month of 2015 as prices for all of the commodities it tracks fell, particularly for sugar.

The Food Price Index averaged 150.4 points in January, down 16% from a year earlier and registering its lowest level since April 2009. The main factors underlying the lingering decline in basic food commodity prices are the generally ample agricultural supply conditions, a slowing global economy and the strengthening U.S. dollar, FAO noted.

This month, FAO also raised its forecast for worldwide cereal stocks in 2016 as a result of lower projected consumption and higher 2015 production prospects.

The Dairy Price Index dropped 3.0% on the back of large supplies in both the European Union and New Zealand and torpid world import demand.

The Cereal Price Index declined 1.7% (to 149.1 points) amid ample global supplies and increased competition for export markets, especially for wheat and maize, as well as a strong U.S. dollar.

The Meat Price Index moved 1.1% lower than its revised December value, with prices for all meat categories falling except for pork, which FAO said was sustained by the opening of private storage aid in the EU.

The Sugar Price Index fell 4.1% from December, its first drop in four months, as crop conditions improved in Brazil — by far the world’s leading sugar producer and exporter.


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