Global food commodity prices fell in April amid expectations of ongoing robust supplies of many key staples. The FAO Food Prices Index averaged 168 points in April, down 1.8% from March although remaining 10% higher than a year earlier.
World cereal production for 2016 should amount to 2 571 million tonnes, up marginally from FAO's October forecast and 1.5% above the 2015 output. The updated figure, released Monday in the Cereal and Supply Demand Brief, reflects a substantial upgrade of the outlook for world wheat production, which is now expected to rise to 746.7 million tonnes, a 4.3 million increase from FAO's October forecast.
Major food commodity prices fell in November, reversing about half their rise in the previous month, as the cost of internationally-traded staples, except for sugar, fell across the board. The FAO Food Price Index averaged 156.7 points in November, down 1.6 percent from its revised October average, and 18% below its value a year earlier.
FAO's monthly food price index was stable in November, as vegetable oil and grain prices inched up and offset ongoing declines in dairy prices. The Food Price Index averaged 192.6 points, marking the third consecutive month of stability. The Index now stands 13 points, 6.4 percent below its level in November 2013.
According to FAO's monthly Cereal Supply and Demand Brief release, the forecast for 2014 world cereal production by about one million tons. At 2.5 billion tons, the full-year production figure would be 3.7 million tons below 2013's record output.
The FAO Food Price Index was down for the second consecutive month in May, continuing its retreat from the 10-month high it experienced in March. Prices fell as generally ample supplies weighed on international prices for most commodities included in the Index.
The FAO Food Price Index averaged 206.3 points in November 2013, almost unchanged from the revised value of 206.6 points in October, but 9.5 points (4.4%) below its November 2012 value. A sharp decline in sugar prices last month nearly offset the rise in oils. Cereals averaged slightly lower but meat and dairy values were stable.
Food commodity markets are becoming more balanced and less price volatile than in recent years thanks to improved supplies and a recovery in global inventories of cereals, according to FAO's Food Outlook report published on Friday.
First forecasts for the 2013 wheat harvest point to production increasing to 690 million tons, 4.3% up on 2012. This would be the second largest crop on record, according to the latest issue of FAO quarterly “Crop Prospects and Food Situation” report. The production hike is expected mostly in Europe, driven by increased plantings in response to high prices and a recovery in yields in some countries, notably the Russian Federation.
Following two months of stability, the FAO Price Index rose slightly in September 2012, up 1.4%, or 3 points, from its level in August. The Index, based on the prices of a basket of internationally traded food commodities, climbed to 216 points in September from 213 points in August.