Sugarcane harvester in Brazil. Photo credit: flickr (John McQuaid)

The FAO Food Price Index averaged nearly 162 points in October, up 3.9 percent from the previous month. This was the sharpest increase since July 2012, but the index is still down 16 percent from this time last year.

Photo Credit: flickr (World Bank)

The Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS) organized a special event "Food Market Outlook - An AMIS Perspective for 2015/16" at Expo Milan on Monday, 19 October 2015. Leading experts from AMIS-participating countries presented the outlook for wheat, maize, rice and soybean markets and addressed questions from a live and virtual audience on topics including:

Dropping oil prices, concern over the global financial implications of economic slowdown in China, and higher than expected global yields for wheat, maize and rice are all contributing to the continued descent of crop prices, according to the September edition of the AMIS Market Monitor and the FAO Food Price Index, both released today.

BY: Joseph Glauber, IFPRI

The grains and oilseeds futures markets were down significantly following the release of USDA's August Crop Production and World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) reports.

The FAO Food Price Index for May was released yesterday and is down 2.5 points from April, and nearly 7 points from May 2013. This is the second decline in a row, following the ten-month high reached in March. The decline is driven mostly by lower dairy, cereals, and vegetable oils prices.

Global food prices dropped slowly in April, led by sharp declines in dairy products, sugar, and vegetable oils, according to the latest FAO Food Price Index. The Index fell 1.6 percent from March.

By contrast, the Cereal Price Index rose in April by one point. However, cereal prices remain well below (10.3 percent below) their April 2013 levels. The Meat Price Index also rose in April, with pig meat prices rising and bovine meat prices near historic highs.

Food prices spiked in March, according to the latest FAO Food Price Index, released this week. The Index rose 4.8 points from February and is at its highest level since May 2013. The increase is due largely to poor weather and continuing unrest in the Black Sea region. Cereal and sugar prices gained the most this month.

In the sharpest rise seen since mid-2012, the FAO Food Price Index increased by 5.2 points, or 2.6 percent, in February. The rebound was driven by rising prices across all sectors of the Index, with the exception of meat. Despite this rise, however, the February Index remained 2.1 percent lower than one year ago.

The latest FAO Food Price Index was released on January 9, citing a slight drop from December. At 203.4 points, the Index was 4.4 percent lower than its January 2013 level.

The Cereal Price Index also dropped by 3 points in January, down a full 56 points from its January 2013 level. This decline can be attributed largely to bumper cereal crops and subsequent large export supplies, which helped reduce prices from the highs seen in 2012 and 2013.

The latest FAO Food Price Index, released this week, remained largely unchanged from last month's at 206.7 points. Overall, the Index was slightly lower in 2013 than in 2012; food prices declined 1.6 percent in the past year. However, 2013 levels were still the third highest annual value on record.

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