FAO Food Price Index drops in September

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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ROME — In September, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation’s Food Price Index averaged 225 points, a drop of 2 percent compared to August. September’s results represent the third-consecutive month the index has declined, but it remains higher than the September 2010 value of 195 points.

A 3 percent decline in pork prices led to a slight decline in the Meat Price Index to 175 points. Poultry prices also dropped marginally, while prices of beef and sheep meat trended slightly upwards amid tight supplies. All meat prices, however, remain above the levels prevailing in 2010, with the index up 14 percent from September 2010, which is mostly a reflection of rising costs and low inventories.

The Oils/Fats Price Index, from a historical perspective, remains high at 238 points, but it also declined 2.3 percent when compared with August. FAO said the recent declines in the Oils/Fats Index represent comfortable levels of palm oil in Southeast Asia combined with growing export supplies of sunflower oil following good harvests in the Black Sea region.

The Cereal Price Index averaged 245 points in September, a 3 percent decline compared with August. The Cereal Index has followed a downward trend since April, largely due to the expectation of a strong rebound in world cereal production, FAO relayed.

“While a tight maize supply prospect and policy changes in rice provided support, the index fell in September reflecting generally improved supply prospects, expectations of slowing demand and the strengthening U.S. dollar,” FAO reported.

When compared to August, the Dairy Index experienced a slight decline falling from 221 points during that month to 218 during September. Butter prices suffered the sharpest drop, losing 3 percent, followed by casein and cheese, which retreated by about 1 percent each. Prices of whole milk powder were virtually unchanged. The prices of all dairy products remain, on average, 10 percent higher than the corresponding period last year, FAO relayed.

The Sugar Price Index was 379 points in September, a 3.8 percent decline when compared with August. Positive production prospects in Europe, India and Thailand contributed to the decline, FAO concluded.
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