FAO reports monthly rise in world food prices

World food prices rose in September, contrasting with a fall during August, according to the latest report issued by the Food and Agriculture Organisation, the UN food agency.

The FAO’s food price index, which measures monthly changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy, meat and sugar, averaged 156.3 points in September, up a point from August.

The index has been sliding for most of the past 18 months, partly due to rising global supply, and is still hovering near an almost six-year low hit in August.

Prices in September were 18.9% below a year ago, but firming energy prices and a stronger dollar could support future prices, said FAO senior economist Abdolreza Abbassian.

“This little increase that we saw last month in the food price index may be an indication that we are reaching a bottom, and that the prices, although they are not going to spike anywhere, are also not going to collapse any further,” Mr Abbassian said.

September’s rise was led by firming values for sugar and dairy, which rose 3.2% and 5%. Other commodities were close to or below the August levels. FAO cut its 2015 world cereal output forecast to 2.534bn tonnes, from 2.54bn tonnes.


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