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

Environment food items rates slipped in February, ending 4 months of successive raises, with the distribute of coronavirus dampening desire for some products and solutions, the United Nations food items company reported on Thursday.

The Food items and Agriculture Corporation (FAO) food items cost index, which steps month to month adjustments for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products and solutions, meat and sugar, averaged a hundred and eighty.five points final month, down one. for each cent on January.

FAO also slightly upped its forecast for cereal generation, predicting a crop totalling some 2.719 billion tonnes in 2019, up from a earlier forecast of 2.715 billion and some 2.three for each cent higher than the 2018 crop.

The vegetable oil cost index plunged 10.three for each cent from January, led by a slump in palm oil rates, whilst the cereal cost index eased .nine for each cent, with the intercontinental rates of all significant cereals, besides rice, declining.

FAO reported the distribute of the coronavirus contributed to the cost decline in equally indices amid fears the outbreak would induce a world slowdown.

Coronavirus also hit the meat cost index, which dropped 2 for each cent on the month as imports declined to China, the epicentre of the outbreak, which has so significantly contaminated at least 95,three hundred individuals globally and brought on far more than three,200 fatalities.

The dairy cost index rose four.six for each cent, pushed higher by a increase for cheese, fuelled by tightening export supplies from New Zealand and Australia.

Nevertheless, quotations for milk powder fell owing to a slowdown in purchases by China, the world’s major importer, mainly because of delays in cargo handling in ports, afflicted by the distribute of the coronavirus, FAO reported.