August ROME – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation’s (FAO's) monthly food-price index registered dropped again in August, maintaining its five-month downward run and reaching its lowest level since September 2010. However, meat averaged 207.3 points in August, 2.5 points (1.2 percent) more than in July and 25 points (14 percent) above last year.
FAO's Food Price Index is a trade-weighted index that measures prices of five major food commodities on international markets: in addition to sub-indices for prices of cereals, it also tracks meat, dairy products, vegetable oils, and sugar. The index's August average of 196.6 points represents a decrease of 7.3 points (3.6 percent) from July. With the exception of meat, prices for all of the commodities measured by the index dipped markedly.
Dairy products averaged 200.8 points in August, down 25.3 points (11.2 percent) versus July and 46.8 points (18.9 percent) compared to a year ago — the result of abundant supplies for export coupled with reduced import demand. FAO's price index for cereals averaged 182.5 points in August, down 2.8 points (1.5 percent) from last month and 24.2 points (11.7 percent) versus 2013.
Prices for wheat continued to slide in August, reaching their lowest value since July 2010. However, rice prices increased in August, reflecting increased import demand, lower-than-expected releases from stockpiles by Thailand, and unfavorable weather affecting some crops in Asia.
Vegetable oils totaled 166.6 points in August, 14.5 points (8 percent) less than the previous month and the lowest level since November 2009. Meanwhile, sugar prices averaged 244.3 points in last month, down by 14.8 points (5.7 percent) from July, but still 2.2 points (1 percent) higher than one year ago.