Maize crop

Prices for major food commodities decrease in September

Global food commodity prices fell in September thanks to growing inventories of key staples including maize and wheat, according to the latest data released by the UN’s Food Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The Food Price Index averaged 165.4 points in September, down 2.3 points (1.4 percent) from August and 13 points (7.4 percent) below its level in September 2017. Of the key commodities tracked by FAO, only the sugar price index to inch upward.

The Cereal Price Index averaged almost 164 points in September, a drop of 4.7 points (2.8 percent) from August, but still 12 points (8 percent) above its September 2017 level. Among the major cereals, the sharpest month-on-month decline concerned maize export quotations, which fell by at least 4 percent from August, mostly on expectations of a very large crop in the United States and ample supply prospects globally. Wheat price quotations, which rose sharply in August, also fell in September, mainly on continued strong sales and shipments from the Russian Federation. International rice prices eased for the third successive month.

The Vegetable Oil Price Index averaged 134.9 points in September, down 3.2 points (or 2.3 percent) from August. Vegetable oil prices continued its downward trend for the eighth month in a row, reaching a three-year low. Palm oil registered the most notable decline, and soy and rapeseed oil quotations also fell.

The Dairy Price Index averaged 191.5 points in September, down 4.7 points (2.4 percent) from August, continuing the downward trend for the fourth consecutive month. In September, international prices of butter, cheese and Whole Milk Powder (WMP) declined while Skim Milk Powder (SMP) recovered.

The Sugar Price Index averaged 161.4 points in September, up 4 points (2.6 percent) from August, but almost 43 percent below its level in the corresponding month last year. The increase in September was largely due to the ongoing sugar harvesting operations in Brazil, the world’s largest sugar producer and exporter. Drought conditions in Brazil during the critical growing season are seen to have had negative impacts on sugarcane yields, with harvested cane volumes falling below expectations.

The Meat Price Index averaged 166.2 points in September, down marginally from its revised value for August. International prices of bovine and pig meat remained mostly stable, while ovine meat and poultry rose.

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