FAO notes less global food prices volatility, prices to rise

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FAO logo The latest data from the FAO shows food prices volatility is behind us and steady increases are expected moving forward.

The drought affecting most of the United States sent food prices surging in 2011, but stabilization followed and lowered food prices over the past five months.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Food Price Index measures the international prices for a collection of food commodities. An analysis of prices for the month of October shows the index increased by 1.3 percent over the previous month, but was still 5.3 percent lower than the same month a year earlier.

The FAO says the index increased for the first time since April.

The rising index was largely a result of higher sugar prices, but increases in other contributing commodities also affected the global index. The FAO Sugar Price Index jumped 7.4 percent higher in October, increasing for the third consecutive month. Production numbers for 2013/14 were shaken by harvest delays in the major sugar-producing country of Brazil. The FAO also reports the price hike was influenced by a fire that destroyed a major sugar warehouse at the Santos port in Brazil.

October cereal prices were one percent higher than the previous month. The higher cereal values are a result of heavy demand amid record production and a favorable supply outlook.

Dairy prices were 0.4 percent higher in the report with strong demand for whole milk powder in China. Butter prices also improved while cheese remained steady.

Meat prices averaged to show no change for October, although beef prices moved higher while global pork and poultry prices fell lower.

The FAO is forecasting stability in the months ahead with a steady increase in prices.

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