Food prices dropped in July, says UN agriculture agency

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A woman is seen here food shopping at the market. Photo: FAO/J. Spanner

Food prices dropped for a fourth consecutive month in July mainly as a result of a sharp decline in international prices of maize, wheat and oil seeds.

That's according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)'s latest Food Price Index which attributes the decline to ample supplies of these commodities.

FAO says that in particular the fall in international prices of maize and wheat reflected excellent production prospects and expected abundant supplies for export in the 2014/2015 marketing season.

Shirley Mustafa is an economist at the FAO.

"Looking at individual commodity groups that compose the index, and there are five of these, three groups were responsible for this month's entire decline in the overall index. These were cereals, vegetable oils and dairy prices. Of these three groups, cereals registered the sharpest fall, in particular grain prices or prices of wheat and maize which declined substantially, registered steep falls in July bringing the overall cereal index to 17 per cent below its level a year ago." (29")

The FAO Food Price Index says that in contrast, rice prices edged marginally higher, on renewed import demand, especially as Thailand's sales from public reserves remained suspended.

It adds that the price of meat rose due to demand in Asia, particularly China, while the price of sugar remains volatile.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations.

Duration: 1'39"

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