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FAO Food Price Index

The FAO Food Price Index is a measure of the monthly change in international prices of a basket of food commodities. It consists of the average of five commodity group price indices, weighted with the average export shares of each of the groups for 2002-2004.

Monthly release dates for 2014: 09 January, 06 February, 06 March, 03 April, 08 May, 05 June, 03 July, 07 August, 11 September, 09 October, 06 November, 04 December.

Please note that the November 2013 release of the FAO Food Price Index (FFPI) introduced a number of revisions to the way the FFPI is calculated, including changes to its commodity coverage. The changes introduced did not significantly alter the values of the series. The revised FFPI has also been extended back to 1961.

For more detailed information (in all languages) please see the special feature article of the November 2013 issue of the Food Outlook. An expanded version of the article, which contains more technical background is available in English only.

The FAO Food Price Index falls for the third consecutive month, mainly on lower cereal and vegetable oil prices

Release date: 03/07/2014

» The FAO Food Price Index averaged 206.0 points in June 2014, down 3.8 points (1.8 percent) from May and nearly 6 points (2.8 percent), below June 2013. Last month’s decline, which was the third in succession, was largely the result of a marked drop in cereal and vegetable oil prices, following further improvements in global production prospects. Although sugar and dairy quotations also edged lower, the falls were far less pronounced. On the other hand, meat prices held steady.

» The FAO Cereal Price Index averaged 196.2 points in June, down 10.9 points (5.2 percent) from a revised* value in May and 36.2 points (15.6 percent) below last year. The slide was mainly caused by a weakening of wheat and maize quotations, both of which fell by close to 7 percent, a reflection of a further improvement in world crop prospects and diminishing concerns over disruption of shipments from Ukraine.  By contrast, rice prices were marginally up from May, mostly reflecting the suspension of large public stock sales in Thailand.

» The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index averaged 188.9 points in June, down 6.4 points (3.3 percent) from May and 4.6 points (2.4 percent) below June 2013. Quotations for palm oil, the most widely traded edible oil, fell to a 9-month low last month, as seasonally high output coincided with subdued global import demand. Similarly, soy oil prices dropped to a 4-year trough on abundant availabilities in South America and anticipation of a record world soybean production in 2014/15. Prospects of ample sunflower and rapeseed oil supplies in 2014/15 also weighed on the index.

» The FAO Dairy Price Index averaged 236.5 points in June, down 2.5 points (1.0 percent) over May and 9.7 points (4 percent) less year-on-year. The decline in June was substantially less than in the previous three months, suggesting that the downward price adjustment may be coming to an end. At the product level, large supply of milk powders continued to weigh on the market, while a firm import demand has kept cheese prices on the rise.

» The FAO Meat Price Index averaged 194.2 points in June, 1.4 points (0.7 percent) more than in May and 14.6 points (8.1 percent) above last year. The June increase of the index was principally due to a continuing strengthening of pigmeat prices, as world supplies were constrained in recent months by an outbreak of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus in the United States. Bovine and ovine meat quotations also moved seasonally higher, while prices for poultry meat were little changed. 

» The FAO Sugar Price Index averaged 258 points in June, down 1.2 point (0.5 percent), from May, but still 15.4 points (6.4 percent) up from last year. Despite this month’s marginal decline, the market remains concerned about the possible effects of a recurring El Niño weather anomaly that could exacerbate the anticipated fall of global output. Already, indications of below average monsoon rains are pointing to a possible production shortfall in India, the second largest world sugar producer after Brazil and top world sugar consumer.

* The small revision since 2013 reflects slight changes to the IGC wheat index, which is used for the calculation of FAO cereal index.


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