Food price index remains stable

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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ROME – The monthly food price index was stable in November, marking the third consecutive month of stability, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations reported. The Food Price Index averaged 192.6 points. The index now stands 13 points, or 6.4 percent, below its level in November 2013, FAO said.

"The index appears to have bottomed out with higher probabilities for a rise in its value in coming months" said Abdolreza Abbassian, senior economist at FAO.

Meat prices also were stable in November despite historically high prices for beef and other animal proteins. FAO said the Meat Price Index averaged 210.4 points, in line with its revised value for October while marking a 13.3 percent increase from a year ago. Mutton and lamb prices climbed moderately higher during the month.

The Dairy Price Index declined 3.4 percent from October and 29 percent from a year ago to average 178.1 points in November, FAO said. The change reflected increased export availability of dairy products along with slower imports to large markets such as China and the Russia.

The Vegetable Oil Price Index climbed 0.7 percent to 164.9 points, although FAO noted this is still almost 17 percent below its level a year ago. FAO attributed the increase to lower-than-expected global production of sunflower oil and some slowdown of palm oil production in Malaysia and Indonesia. However, weak prices for soy oil dragged on the sub-index.

Cereal prices were significantly higher for the first time since March. FAO said growing conditions for the just-sown wheat crop in the Northern hemisphere appear less than ideal, but rice prices weakened as newly-harvested supplies arrived to market. The Cereal Price Index averaged 183 points in November, up 2.6 percent from October but down 5.8 percent from a year ago.

The Sugar Price Index dropped 3.2 percent from October to average 230 points in November, about 8 percent below year ago levels, FAO said. The index declined on alleviated concerns about a prolonged drought in Brazil, the world's largest sugar exporter.
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