World food prices dipped in Feb as virus hit demand: FAO

Elvera Bartels

Earth foodstuff rates slipped in February, ending four months of successive increases, with the spread of coronavirus dampening desire for some products and solutions, the United Nations foodstuff agency explained on Thursday.

The Food items and Agriculture Group (FAO) foodstuff price tag index, which steps month-to-month modifications for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products and solutions, meat and sugar, averaged a hundred and eighty.five factors final thirty day period, down 1. for every cent on January.

FAO also a bit upped its forecast for cereal manufacturing, predicting a crop totalling some 2.719 billion tonnes in 2019, up from a prior forecast of 2.715 billion and some 2.three for every cent better than the 2018 crop.

The vegetable oil price tag index plunged 10.three for every cent from January, led by a slump in palm oil rates, although the cereal price tag index eased .9 for every cent, with the worldwide rates of all major cereals, besides rice, declining.

FAO explained the spread of the coronavirus contributed to the price tag decrease in equally indices amid fears the outbreak would induce a world wide slowdown.

Coronavirus also hit the meat price tag index, which dropped 2 for every cent on the thirty day period as imports declined to China, the epicentre of the outbreak, which has so far infected at minimum 95,300 folks globally and brought on much more than three,200 deaths.

The dairy price tag index rose four.six for every cent, pushed better by a rise for cheese, fuelled by tightening export provides from New Zealand and Australia.

Nevertheless, quotations for milk powder fell thanks to a slowdown in purchases by China, the world’s greatest importer, simply because of delays in cargo handling in ports, influenced by the spread of the coronavirus, FAO explained.

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