The AP Food Price and Policy Monitor is a monthly report tasked to monitor food prices in local markets and provide readers with up to date food/agricultural policy developments across the Asia Pacific region.
In the February 2014 issue, the AP Food Price and Policy Monitor identified following highlights:
- The Consumer Price Index for Food in the Asia-Pacific region rose by 6.9 percent year-on-year in January, a slight decrease compared to previous months. Slowing food prices in China, India and Pakistan helped blunt the overall rate of inflation in the region.
- In real terms, rice prices around the region rose 1.4 percent last month, but were still 0.4 percent lower than at the same time last year. Wheat prices fell by 0.3 percent compared to the previous month but were 2.2 percent higher than one year ago.
- In Afghanistan (Kabul), prices for low-quality rice rose 19.1 percent year-on-year, while high-quality rice prices rose by 18.3 percent. To help stabilize prices, the government opened the first of several planned Strategic Grain Reserves.
- In China, the government’s first policy document of the year focused on agriculture development and food security. Key strategies for 2014 include reforming the pricing/subsidies mechanisms in place for several agricultural commodities and supporting agricultural markets development.
- Indonesia’s state-run logistics agency, Bulog, has allocated 350 000 tonnes of rice for distribution to those affected by the eruption of Mount Sinabung. Officials expect heavy damage to agriculture in the area because of volcanic ash.
- Farmers in Thailand protested against delayed payments under the government’s rice-pledging programme, while a Chinese state company cancelled a contract to import 1.2 million tonnes of Thai rice.