Although global food prices have recently stabilised, they are expected to remain volatile over the next few years, the head of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on October 7 2013, at the start of a ministerial meeting in Rome on global food prices.
FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva told the meeting, which coincided with the opening of the Committee on World Food Security, that this year’s session was taking place in a less troubled climate than a year ago, when ministers came together in response to the third spike in international grain prices in five years.
“The outlook for international food commodity markets finally looks calmer this year,” he told the meeting, which was attended by about 30 agriculture ministers. “Grain production has rebounded and higher stock-to-use ratios should bring greater stability to prices.”
And while the FAO Cereal Price Index is 20 per cent lower than it was one year ago, this is not the time for complacency, he said, as quoted by the UN News Centre.
“International prices have declined but they are still above their historical levels. And prices are expected to remain volatile over the next years,” he warned.
Graziano da Silva urged countries to take advantage of the relative calm to prepare for future market turbulence and find lasting solutions to the issues surrounding food price volatility. “If higher and volatile prices are here to stay, then we need to adapt to this new pattern.”