Global food prices declined for the first time in three months as lower prices for cereals, sugars, oils and meat outstripped gains in dairy values, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on February 6 2014, according to a report by the UN News Centre.
The Rome-based agency said its Food Price Index averaged 203.4 points in January, which is 1.3 per cent below December and 4.4 per cent below January 2013.
The Index measures monthly changes in international prices of a basket of meat, dairy, cereals, oils and fats, and sugar.
“We’re seeing lower prices due to abundant supplies, but stronger upturn in demand, such as an increase in the pace of imports from Asia, could limit the decline,” FAO economist Abdolreza Abbassian said.
Sugar and vegetable oils fell 5.6 per cent and 3.8 per cent respectively. Bumper cereal crops, meanwhile, helped to bring down cereal prices, which were 1.6 per cent lower than in December and as much as 23 per cent lower than in January 2013.
Even meat prices, which had strengthened over the past few months, fell slightly in January.
“The only notable exception was a rise in dairy prices,” said Michael Griffin, FAO’s dairy and livestock market expert.
The FAO dairy price index registered a 1.3 per cent increase in January to 267.7 points, largely reflecting strong demand, especially from China, North Africa, the Middle East and Russia.
(Photo: Christa Richert/sxc.hu)