» The FAO Food Price Index* (FFPI) averaged 176.2 points in May 2018, up 2.2 points (1.2 percent) from April level and hitting its highest level since October 2017. The increase in May reflected a continued steep rise in dairy price quotations, while those of cereals also rose, albeit at a slower pace. By contrast, vegetable oil and sugar markets remained under downward pressure whereas meat values changed little.
» The FAO Cereal Price Index averaged 172.9 points in May, 4.1 points (2.4 percent) above its April level. The index continued on an upward path since the start of this year, standing in May at almost 17 percent above its corresponding value a year ago and reaching the highest level since January 2015. International prices of all major cereals have strengthened considerably in recent months, and in May wheat values gained largely on concerns over production prospects in a number of major exporting countries. International prices of leading coarse grains also rose, mostly due to deteriorating production prospects in Argentina and Brazil. Sizable purchases by Southeast Asian buyers kept international rice prices firm in May, notwithstanding weaker currencies of some top exporting countries and soft demand for aromatic and parboiled rice.
» The FAO Dairy Price Index averaged 215.2 points in May, up 11 points (5.5 percent) from April and marks the fourth month in a row for the index to rise. The index value stood at 11.5 percent higher than in May 2017, yet still 22 percent below the peak reached in February 2014. The rise in May was mainly driven by sizeable increases in the price quotations of cheese, Skim Milk Powder (SMP) and butter, as those of Whole Milk Powder (WMP) were virtually unchanged. Tight supplies in New Zealand, the leading exporter of dairy products, are much behind the market firmness witnessed in recent months....MUCH MORE