The prices of the main foodstuffs slightly decreased in July after five consecutive months of increases, having witnessed their highest increases, on a year-on-year basis, in four years. This data has been produced for a report by the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), which came out yesterday (Thursday).
The FAO index of food prices was at 161.9 points in July, declining by 0.8% compared to June this year and by 1.4% compared to July 2015.
The decrease in June is in large part due to the plummeting international quoted market prices for cereals and vegetable oils.
The sub-index linked to cereals, is indeed showing a reduction of 5.6% compared to June, with the tidal movement of reduced maize and wheat prices. This is, in particular, due to favorable meteorological conditions in the United States.
America is the leading global producer and exporter of maize. The price of wheat is under pressure from a global glut.
The sub-index of vegetable oils reduced by 2.8% in comparison to June, lowered by palm oil prices which reached a five-year low.
On the other hand, dairy products increased by 3.2% in July, compared to the previous month, but these remain at very low levels, compared to the prices in recent years.
Lastly, meat and sugar prices increased by 1.3% and 2.2% in July. Meat prices have been supported by global demand which remains strong, being maintained in particular, by a purchasing upturn in China and strong import markets in several Asian countries.