International food prices suffered their sharpest fall in almost seven years in August, according to the latest food price index, published by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
The downturn in prices was blamed on a combination on “ample supplies, a slump in energy prices and concerns over China’s economic slowdown”.
The index, which tracks international market prices for five major food commodity groups: cereals, meat, dairy products, vegetable oils and sugar, fell 5.2% in August, its steepest monthly decline since December 2008.
In contrast to the general downward trend, however, meat prices in August remained “virtually unchanged” from the previous month.
While this was a positive point in relative terms, the month’s figures still showed that overall meat prices have declined by 18% from the meat price index’s historic peak, which was recorded in August 2014.
At the same time, however, the latest FAO forecast for global cereal production in 2015 has been revised upwards by 13.8 million tonnes in the last month, which is a clear plus for feed users.
Although still 0.8% below the 2014 record, the cereals upward revision was the result of “more buoyant production prospects for coarse grains, wheat and rice”.