Global food prices monitored by FAO fell in March amid large available supplies and expectations of strong harvests.
The FAO Food Price Index averaged nearly 171 points in March, marking a 2.8% drop from the previous month while remaining 13.4% above its level a year earlier.
FAO’s Food Price Index is a trade-weighted index tracking international market prices of five major food commodity groups.
The FAO Cereal Price Index declined 1.8% from February, led down by wheat and maize. It is now roughly par with its March 2016 level. The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index was 6.2% lower on the month. Palm oil and soy oil quotations both fell in March on the back of improving production forecasts, while those of rape and sunflower seed oils also declined due to higher-than-expected availabilities. The FAO Sugar Price Index declined by 10.9% to its lowest level since May 2016 amid weak import demand and expectations of robust Brazilian supplies entering world markets as a result of strong harvests and slower domestic uptake for bio-ethanol production.
Meat and milk
Buoyant milk supplies led to a 2.3% monthly decline in the FAO Dairy Price Index, which, however, remained well above its year-ago level. The FAO Meat Price Index rose 0.7%, led upward by firm import demand from Asia for bovine meat and pig meat.