Monthly global food price index up 1.4 per cent; cereal stocks to hit new record: UN

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UNITED NATIONS, July 6 (APP): Rising prices of cereals, meat and dairy products have
pushed the global food price index up by 1.4 per cent compared to last month and 7.0
per cent compared to last year, the United Nations agriculture agency has said.
According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the rise in the Food
Price Index ‘a measure of the monthly change in international prices of a basket of food
commodities’ was largely because of surging prices of high-protein wheat due to
deteriorating crop conditions in the United States.
‘June marked the second successive month of increase in the value of the Food Price
Index’, an update issued by the UN agency said.
On the other hand, price indices for vegetable oils and sugar declined by 6.5 points
(3.9 per cent) and nearly 31 points (13.4 per cent), respectively, it added.
The fall in the Sugar Price Index marked a new 16-month low. The prices have fallen
steadily since February, with the continued decline reflecting large export availabilities, in
particular robust Brazilian supplies.
‘Weak import demand has exerted further downward pressure on [sugar] quotations,
especially as purchases by the world’s leading importer, China, have slowed following the
imposition of high import tariffs,’ FAO said.
In terms of the indices, the Cereal Price Index averaged 154.3 points in June (up 6.2
points compared to May); Vegetable Oil Price Index, 162.1 points (down 6.5 points);
Dairy Price Index, 209 points (up 15.9 points); Sugar Price Index (197.3 points, down
nearly 31 points).
The Meat Price Index averaged 175.2 points in June (up 3.2 points). However, this
value was derived using a mixture of projected and observed prices as most prices used
in the calculation of the Index were not available when the Food Price Index was
computed.
Also today, FAO announced that despite tightening supply conditions for high-protein
wheat, global cereal supplies are likely to remain abundant in the coming year.
‘World cereal stocks are expected to expand further to a new record high of around
704 million tonnes,’ said the UN agency, announcing its updated Cereal Supply and
Demand Brief, also released today.
According to the Brief, the June forecast for global wheat output in 2017 were revised
down, while those of maize and rice rose and global cereal production this year is likely
to total 2,593 million tonnes, some 0.6 per cent below that of 2016.