Global food prices down
- Louella Desiderio () - May 7, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Global food prices fell in April compared to the previous month with declines seen in the prices of cereals, sugar and dairy products amid better production, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said.

The FAO also said that prospects for the second half of the year show that food supplies will improve and demand will remain strong.

In its Food Price Index report released last week, the FAO said the index, which measures the monthly change in international prices of a basket of food commodities, averaged 214 points in April, down three points from the previous month.

“The fall was the first after three consecutive months of increases and although the index is significantly down from its record level of 235 points in April 2011, it is still well above the figures of under 200 which preceded the 2008 food crisis,” the FAO said.

The FAO attributed the decline in the food price index to the drop in the prices of cereals, sugar and dairy products.

The cereal price index averaged 224 points in April, lower by four points compared to March.

The FAO said maize quotations posted a 2.5-percent decline, which reflects good production prospects.

It said wheat prices and rice values were also down marginally.

The FAO said in its Food Outlook report which was also released late last week, that world cereal production is expected to reach 2.371 million tons this year, up slightly from the 2.344 million tons last year.

“Increases are expected for coarse grains and rice,” it said.

Rice production in particular, is forecast to rise by 1.7 percent to 488 million tons this year from last year, under normal weather conditions.

The FAO said the sugar price index averaged 324 points in April, shedding 18 points from the previous month, due to the availability of large supply.

The dairy price index, the FAO said, averaged 186 points in April, down by 11 points from March, amid rebuilding of supplies.

The meat price index meanwhile, averaged 182 points in April, increasing slightly from the March average of 181 points, amid tight export supplies and high import demand.

AVERAGED FAO FOOD FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION FOOD OUTLOOK FOOD PRICE INDEX INDEX POINTS PRICE PRICES YEAR
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