World food price index up 5% in September

World food price index up 5% in September

Rome (UNA-OIC) – World food prices rose for a fourth month running in September, led by strong increases for cereals and vegetable oils, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said Thursday.

The FAO Food Price Index (FFPI) – which measures monthly changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat and sugar – averaged 97.9 points last month versus a downwardly revised 95.9 in August. The August figure was previously given as 96.1.

The UN food agency also said in a statement that worldwide cereal harvests remained on course to hit an annual record in 2020, even though it slightly trimmed its previous forecasts.

The FAO Cereal Price Index rose 5.1 percent in September from the month before and 13.6 percent above its value a year earlier.

“Higher wheat price quotations led the increase, spurred by brisk trade activity amid concerns over production prospects in the southern hemisphere as well as dry conditions affecting winter wheat sowings around Europe,” FAO said, pointing out that maize, sorghum and barley prices rose, while rice fell 1.4 percent as fresh demand slowed.

FAO revised down its forecast for the 2020 cereal season by 2.5 million tons, reflecting lower expectations for the output of global coarse grains. However, despite this reduction, the agency still expected a record harvest this year of 2.762 billion tons, up 2.1 percent on 2019 levels.

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