Meat Price Index steady amidst fluctuating commodity prices – FAO

11 April 2016

The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) Food Price Index* averaged 151 points in March 2016 – up slightly (1%) from the previous month, although almost 12% (21 points) lower than March 2015.

The major movement in the March Food Price Index was the surge in sugar prices, which, together with an increase in vegetable oil quotations, more than offset the considerable fall in dairy prices. In contrast to these sharp rises and falls, meat prices were reportedly stable on February levels.

The FAO attributed the hike in sugar prices to a larger than expected production shortage for the current crop year, following recent heavy rainfall in Brazil.

Dairy prices in March, on the other hand, fell to the lowest level since June 2009, due to high inventories in major exporting countries.

The FAO Meat Price Index was relatively unchanged on its February value, at 146.4 points, with all categories remaining relatively steady in March. Compared to the corresponding month last year, however, the Index was still down 24 points.

*The FAO Food Price Index is a measure of the monthly change in international prices of a basket of food commodities. It consists of the average of five commodity group price indices, weighted with the average export shares of each of the groups for 2002-2004 (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations).

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