Global food prices hit lowest level since 2009
The latest food price index from the UN Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO), covering May, fell 1.4% from April and was down 21% from a year earlier. This leaves the index at its lowest level since September 2009.
Cereals and dairy products were responsible for much of last month’s decline. Global cereal stocks remain high and harvest forecasts looked favourable, while dairy stocks were also high and questions persist over Chinese demand, leading prices to fall further. Falls were also seen in the meat index but not to the same extent as the other markets.
The FAO Meat Price Index averaged 171 points in May, down 1% from its revised April value. Generally lower prices for meat exports from the US continue to weigh on the index. Overall, international prices of bovine and ovine meat moved lower. After declining since June 2014, pig meat prices were relatively stable in April and May, with European prices, in particular, levelling. Poultry prices have also suffered from import restrictions placed on US products following major outbreaks of highly infectious avian influenza.