Global food prices hit a six-month low in July led mainly by sharp declines in grain, oilseeds and dairy, which balanced out rising meat and firm sugar prices, the United Nations food agency said on Thursday.
Food prices are set to be stable over the next 10 years, after global producers responded to price shocks which led to violent protests in the last decade by raising output, the United Nations and FAO said last month. An import ban imposed by Russia to stop countries that have sanctioned Moscow over Ukraine from selling food there for the next year will likely have a limited effect on global food prices, senior FAO economist Abdolreza Abbassian said.
"The first casualties would be the domestic market, however it will have some implications for the farmers in the producing countries," Abdolreza Abbassian said, pointing to a possible rise in unsold surplus stocks in some exporter countries which could depress prices further.
"I am wondering what Poland will do with all those extra apples and where the poultry from the US is going to end up," Abbassian said. Abbassian said out that the Russian ban - on imports of fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, milk and dairy from the US, EU, Australia, Canada and Norway — does not affect major commodities like grain.
July's price index figure was 1.7% below July 2013, its fourth consecutive monthly fall. The Food and Agriculture Organisation's (FAO) price index, which measures monthly price changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy, meat and sugar, averaged 203.9 points in July, down 4.4 points or 2.1% from June.