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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 2015: 08 January, 05 February, 05 March, 02 April, 07 May, 04 June, 09 July, 06 August, 10 September, 08 October, 05 November, 03 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 declines by just under 1 percent in June, on falling dairy and sugar prices

Release date: 09/07/2015

» The FAO Food Price Index* averaged 165.1 points in June 2015, down 1.5 points (0.9 percent) from the previous month and almost 44 points (21.0 percent) down from June 2014.  Price movements diverged across the various markets, with sugar and milk products incurring pronounced falls, while cereals and oils prices firmed somewhat. Meat prices were stable. Except for a lull in October 2014, the overall food price index has declined every month since April 2014.

» The FAO Cereal Price Index averaged 163.2 points in June, up 2.5 points (1.5 percent) from May, marking the first month-on-month rise since December 2014. Compared to June 2014, prices have fallen by as much as 33 points (17 percent). All of last month’s price strength stemmed from wheat and coarse grain prices, which gained 2 percent each, while rice quotations remained under pressure. Although unfavourable weather in some regions provided support to prices, the rise was contained, amid abundant carryover stocks and generally good production prospects.

» The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index averaged 156.2 points in June, up 2.1 points (or 1.3 percent) from May, but still 17 percent below its level in June last year. The recent rise was mainly driven by palm and soy oils. Palm oil quotations strengthened, underpinned by improved import demand (by China and India in particular) and continued concerns about dry weather related to El Niño in Southeast Asia. As for soy oil, the firming of prices reflected unusually wet conditions affecting soybean plantings and yield prospects in the United States. Prices of rapeseed also moved up, on account of unfavourable weather in major producing countries.

» The FAO Dairy Price Index averaged 160.5 points in June, down 6.9 points (4.1 percent) from May. Milk powders were the products most affected by the market weakness, although prices of butter and cheese also declined. A favourable opening to the dairy-year and the abolition of the milk quota system in the EU, along with large unsold dairy stocks in New Zealand weighed on the sector, amid uncertainty over the level of China’s dairy imports and the maintenance of import prohibitions by the Russian Federation.

» The FAO Meat Price Index* averaged 169.8 points in June, essentially unchanged at around this level since March.  Prices for pigmeat moved higher, while those for bovine and ovine meat declined, with poultry little changed.  After falling since June 2014, average pigmeat prices rose in both May and June, underpinned by a strengthening of quotations in Europe.  For bovine meat, augmented domestic supplies in some markets meant that import demand weakened somewhat causing quotations to decrease.

» The FAO Sugar Price Index averaged 176.8 points in June, down 12.4 points (6.6 percent) from May 2015. The sharp decline was prompted by reports of higher than expected sugar production in India, the world’s largest sugar consumer, and Thailand.  Better than forecasted output in Brazil, the world’s largest producer and exporter, helped by good harvesting conditions for most of the month of June also contributed to the general price decline. Early indications of a possible global production deficit in 2015/16, after five consecutive seasons of surpluses, were not sufficient to ease the downward pressure on sugar quotations.    

* Unlike for other commodity groups, most prices utilized in the calculation of the FAO Meat Price Index are not available when the FAO Food Price Index is computed and published; therefore, the value of the Meat Price Index for the most recent months is derived from a mixture of projected and observed prices. This can, at times, require significant revisions in the final value of the FAO Meat Price Index which could in turn influence the value of the FAO Food Price Index.




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