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Export prices of grains increase sharply in July
with maize prices at record levels

20 July 2012

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Export prices of maize increased by 20 percent in the first three weeks of July compared to their June level. The benchmark US maize price (Yellow, No.2, f.o.b.) averaged USD 322 per tonne reaching a new record high. Prices were underpinned by continuous concerns about the impact of hot and dry weather conditions on yield potential of the 2012 maize crop in parts of the United States. The downward revision of the US official 2012 maize production forecast on 11 July provided further support.

International prices of wheat rose by some 21 percent in the first three weeks of July. The benchmark US wheat price (No.2 hard Red Winter, f.o.b.) averaged USD 347 per tonne, 13 percent higher than in July 2011 but still well below the record level of March 2008. Deterioration of prospects for the 2012 wheat production in the Black Sea region due to dry and hot weather, particularly in the Russian Federation, and strong maize values have put upward pressure on wheat prices since the second half of June. Estimates pointing to reduced plantings of the 2012 spring wheat crop in the United States contributed to the increase.

The benchmark Thai rice export price (Thai white rice 100% B) decreased marginally in the first weeks of July and averaged USD 608 per tonne, 11 percent higher than in July 2011. The recent decline mainly reflects ample export supplies and slower demand which more than offset the upward pressure from the new rice pledging programme in place.

For latest data on domestic and international food prices consult the:
GIEWS Food Price Data and Analysis Tool
(over 1150 series of domestic basic food prices in 84 countries around the world).