Global food commodity prices rebound in August

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Global food commodity prices rebounded rapidly in August after two consecutive months of decline, led by strong gains in the international price quotations for sugar, wheat and vegetable oils, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reported today.

The FAO Food Price Index averaged 127.4 points in August, up 3.1 percent from July and 32.9 percent from the same month in 2020. The index tracks monthly changes in the international prices of commonly-traded food commodities.

The FAO Sugar Price Index rose 9.6 percent from July, pushed up by concerns over frost damage to crops in Brazil, the world’s largest sugar exporter. The increase was mitigated by good production prospects in India and the European Union as well as by a decline in crude oil prices and a weakening of the Brazilian real.

The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index increased by 6.7 percent in August, with international palm oil prices reverting to historic highs due to protracted concerns over below-potential production and resulting inventory drawdowns in Malaysia. Quotations for rapeseed oil and sunflower oil also rose.

The FAO Cereal Price Index averaged 3.4 percent higher in August than July. World wheat prices jumped by 8.8 percent due to reduced harvest expectations in several major exporting countries. Maize prices, by contrast, declined 0.9 percent as improved production prospects in Argentina, the European Union and Ukraine moderated the lowered production forecasts in Brazil and the United States of America. International rice prices remained on a downward trajectory.

The FAO Meat Price Index edged up slightly in August, as strong purchases from China supported ovine and bovine meat prices and solid import demand from East Asia and the Middle East buoyed poultry prices. Pig meat prices, by contrast, fell due to China’s continued decline in purchases and weak internal demand in Europe.

The FAO Dairy Price Index was down marginally from July, as international quotations for milk powders declined amid a weak global import demand and seasonally rising export availabilities in Oceania, more than offsetting rising butter and cheese prices.

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