FAO Food Price Index Rose Overall in 2017
Despite a 3.3 percent decline in December, the FAO Food Price Index saw an overall increase for 2017 as a whole. The Index rose 8.2 percent from 2016 to reach the highest annual average seen since 2014. The increase was driven mainly by sharp increases in dairy and meat prices, but international cereal prices also experienced a modest increase in 2017.
In December, the Cereal Price Index fell slightly from November but remained 7.4 percent above its December 2016 average. Global wheat prices fell in December due to ample supplies, but weather concerns in Argentina and other major producing countries drove maize prices up. For 2017 as a whole, the Cereal Price Index rose 3.2 percent, but remained well below the peak seen in 2011.
The Vegetable Oil Price Index fell 5.6 percent in December, reaching a five-month low. The decrease was driven by declining palm oil, rape oil, and soy oil prices. For 2017 as a whole, the Vegetable Oil Index rose 3 percent but remained well below the peaks seen in 2008 and 2011.
The Meat Price Index rose 9 percent in 2017 as a whole, while the Dairy Price Index rose 31.5 percent. The Sugar Price Index fell 4.1 percent in December and 11.2 percent in 2017 as a whole.
According to the Food Security Portal's Excessive Food Price Variability Early Warning System , two commodities experienced periods of extreme volatility in 2017. Hard wheat prices experienced 26 days of excessive volatility, while rice prices experienced 34 days of volatility.