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Palm oil

Global food commodity prices drop in November

Marked by drops for palm oil and other vegetable oils, global food commodity prices eased in November, marking the FAO Food Price Index’s lowest level since May 2106, according to the latest data released by the UN’s Food Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The Food Price Index averaged 160.8 points in November 2018, down 2.1 points (1.3 percent) from October, nearly 15 points (8.5 percent) below its level in the corresponding period last year. The decline in November was led by much weaker vegetable oil, dairy and cereal prices.

The Cereal Price Index averaged 164 points in November, 1.1 percent below October and 7.1 percent below November 2016, reflecting large export supplies of wheat, intensified export competition for maize and new crop arrivals of rice.

The Vegetable Oil Price Index averaged 125.3 points in November, down 5.7 percent from October, marking the tenth consecutive monthly fall and a 12-year low. Large palm oil inventories and abundant supplies of soy and sunflower oils fueled the decline.

The Dairy Price Index averaged declined for the sixth consecutive month, falling 3.3 percent from October, as large stocks and increased availability of export supplies, especially from New Zealand, led to lower price quotations for butter, cheese and whole milk powder (WMP).

The Sugar Price Index averaged 183.1 points in November, up 4.4 percent from October, marking the third consecutive monthly gain. The increase in sugar price quotations mostly reflects production developments in Brazil, where sugar output in the Center-South region is heading to a 27 percent decrease from last year. In addition, the share of sugarcane used to produce sugar is seen to have dropped to 35.8 percent from 47.4 percent in 2017.

The Meat Price Index averaged 160 points in November, marginally lower than its slightly revised value for October, and 7.4 percent below its level in the corresponding month last year. In November, international price quotations for poultry, pig and ovine meat continued to ease, with ovine meat falling the most, while those of bovine meat marginally recovered. Poultry meat prices remained under pressure due to slack demand.

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