Global Food Prices Drop But Still High; Market Remains Volatile, Food Indexes Show

“The [U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization] FAO index of global food prices hit an 11-month low in October, reflecting sharp falls in grain, sugar and oils prices, the U.N. food agency said on Thursday, Reuters reports (11/3). “The agency attributes the decline to an improved supply outlook for a number of commodities and uncertainty about global economic prospects,” the U.N. News Centre writes (11/3). “Nonetheless prices still remain generally higher than last year and very volatile, FAO said,” according to an FAO press release (11/3). On Tuesday, the World Bank Group released its Food Price Watch ahead of this week’s Group of 20 (G20) summit, stating that “[w]orld food prices remain high and are hitting the poorest countries hard,” according to Deutsche Presse-Agentur/M&C (11/1).

“High food prices have become a leading political and economic issue in developing countries, and the continued rise in the [global food] import bill indicates that governments will continue to be on high alert. This will particularly be the case in economically vulnerable countries, which have seen their food import bill soar by almost a third from last year,” the Financial Times reports (Terazono, 11/3).