Food Price Index edges higher in February – FAO

21 March 2017

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) Food Price Index* averaged 175.5 points in February, up slightly (0.9 points) from the previous month, but considerably higher (26 points, or 17%) than the same time last year. In fact, the Index is now at its highest level since February 2015. With the exception of vegetable oils, the indices for all other commodities increased in February.

The FAO Meat Price Index lifted 1.7 points month-on-month, to 160.6 points in February – underpinned by a rise in bovine and ovine meat prices, largely due to tighter availability in Australia and New Zealand. Poultry and pigmeat prices, on the other hand, were relatively steady for the month.

In February, the Dairy Price Index hit its highest value since August 2014, at 194.2 points – up marginally from the previous month, though 52 points (or 37%) above year-ago levels. FAO report that dairy supplies to the international market remain adequate considering current demand.

The Cereal Price Index was up 3.7 points, to 150.6 points, supported by higher wheat, maize and rice prices. International sugar prices remained sensitive to fluctuating prospects for sugar production in the key supplying countries – largely Brazil, India and Thailand – which saw the Index rise 1.8 points, to 290.3 points.

The Vegetable Oil Index was the only one to decline in February, down 7.6 points, to 178.7 points – largely reflective of developments in the palm and soy oil markets.

 

*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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