World meals costs proceed to soar, hitting almost 7-year excessive

The Meals and Agriculture Group’s meals value index, which measures month-to-month adjustments for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy merchandise, meat and sugar, averaged 118.5 factors final month versus a barely revised 116.1 in February.

World meals costs rose for a tenth consecutive month in March, hitting their highest stage since June 2014, led by jumps in vegetable oils, meat and dairy indices, the United Nations meals company stated on Thursday.

The Meals and Agriculture Group’s meals value index, which measures month-to-month adjustments for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy merchandise, meat and sugar, averaged 118.5 factors final month versus a barely revised 116.1 in February.

The February determine was beforehand given as 116.0.

The Rome-based FAO additionally stated in an announcement that worldwide cereal harvests remained heading in the right direction to hit an annual file in 2020, including that early indications pointed to an additional enhance in manufacturing this 12 months.

FAO’s cereal value index fell 1.7 p.c month on month in March, ending eight months of consecutive good points, however nonetheless 26.5 p.c greater than the identical interval final month.

Amongst main cereals, wheat export costs dropped essentially the most, declining 2.4 p.c on the month, reflecting good provides and inspiring manufacturing prospects for the 2021 crops, FAO stated.

FAO’s vegetable oil value index surged 8 p.c on the month to succeed in its highest stage since June 2011, lifted by greater costs for palm, soy, rape and sunflower oils.

Dairy costs rose for a tenth month operating, registering a 3.9 p.c enhance. FAO stated one of many drivers within the sector was milk powder, which was boosted by a surge in imports in Asia, particularly China, resulting from issues about short-term provides.

The meat index climbed 2.3 p.c, however in contrast to all the opposite indices, it was nonetheless barely down on a year-on-year foundation. FAO stated poultry and pig meat quotations elevated, underpinned by a quick tempo of imports by Asian international locations, primarily China.

Sugar costs dropped 4 p.c month on month, however was nonetheless up 30 p.c on the 12 months. March’s decline was fuelled by prospects of huge exports from India, FAO stated.

FAO raised its forecast for the 2020 cereal season to 2.765 billion tonnes from a earlier estimate of two.761 billion, pointing to a 2 p.c enhance 12 months on 12 months.

Trying forward, FAO stated it anticipated world cereal manufacturing to extend for a 3rd consecutive 12 months in 2021.

International wheat manufacturing was seen hitting a brand new excessive of 785 million tonnes this 12 months, up 1.4 p.c from 2020 ranges, pushed by an anticipated sharp rebound throughout most of Europe and expectations of a file harvest in India, FAO stated.

Above-average outputs have been additionally anticipated for maize, with a file harvest forecast for Brazil and a multiyear excessive predicted for South Africa.

For the present 2020-21 advertising season, world cereal utilisation was forecast at 2.777 billion tonnes, 2.4 p.c up on the earlier 12 months, pushed largely by greater estimates of feed use of wheat and barley in China, the place the livestock sector is recovering from African swine fever.

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