U.N. says food prices dropped 1 percent

Nov. 8, 2012 at 3:41 PM
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NEW YORK, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- The United Nations said food prices around the globe dropped 1 percent from September to October.

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization's Food Price Index compares prices of 55 food commodities. The index fell from 215 points to 213 with the decline in overall prices pushed by lower prices for cereals, oils and fats, the organization said.

FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva credited international policies with preventing rampant food inflation.

"Despite tight markets, a set of conditions and measures have so far stopped international food prices from spiraling up as they did in 2007-2008 and 2009-2010," he said.

The Agricultural Market Information System put together by the Group of 20 Nations helped "stop the worst drought in decades [from] turning into a food price crisis," he said.

The report said global cereal inventories could drop by 2.7 percent or by 25 million tons due to the drought that hurt production in the United States and Europe.

Offsetting the tight supplies in cereal, rice could reach a production record for the second consecutive year, the report said.

Sugar supplies are also expected to remain high, but milk supplies could be tight as milk-exporting countries pull back this year, the report said.

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