World food prices in November fell to their lowest level in more than two years, helped by lower prices for vegetable oils, dairy products, and cereals, the UN said.
The price index for food and agricultural products (FAO), which measures monthly changes in a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat, and sugar, averaged 160.8 points last month compared to 162.9 in October, the lowest level since May 2016. In November, the grain price index amounted to almost 164 points, which is 1.1 percent less than in October. Prices for vegetable oil fell for the 10th consecutive month, in November by 7.6 percent, and reached a 12-year low. Grain prices fell due to high yields, which affected rice exports, and high competition drove corn prices down. Palm oil prices have also dropped significantly, helped by large stocks from leading exporting countries and the recent decline in world prices for petroleum products. Soybean and sunflower oil prices have weakened due to high supplies from the US, the EU, and several developing countries. Prices for dairy products fell by 3.3 percent compared with October, the sixth monthly decline in a row, prices for meat decreased slightly.
FAO reported that cereal production in 2018-1919 amounted to 2.595 billion tons, which is slightly lower compared with the forecast and 2.4 percent lower than last year's record level. FAO's forecast for world wheat production in 2018/19 was 725.1 million tons, which is 2.8 million tons lower than in the previous forecast, reflecting a decrease in crop estimates this year in Turkey and the Russian Federation.
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