November 2, 2017 / 9:35 AM / 8 months ago

World food prices fall 1.3 percent in October: U.N. FAO

ROME (Reuters) - World food prices fell slightly in October from the month before, as valuations dropped for all food commodities apart from cereals, the United Nations food agency said on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: Combines harvest wheat on the Stephen and Brian Vandervalk farm near Fort MacLeod,, Alberta, September 26, 2011. Wheat is the most important cereal in the world. REUTERS/Todd Korol/File Photo

The Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) food price index, which measures monthly changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat and sugar, averaged 176.4 points in October, down 1.3 percent from September.

Food prices on international markets were 2.5 percent higher than their values last October, but 27 percent below the all-time high hit in February 2011.

Cereals markets are likely to be balanced in 2017-18, FAO said, forecasting global production would surpass last year’s record harvest by a small margin, with total production of coarse grains set to reach a new record.

Wheat production, however, is due to decline slightly from last year, mainly due to a smaller harvest in the United States and an expected fall in Australia’s crop. Global rice output is expected to remain broadly stable in 2017, FAO said.

Reporting by Isla Binnie

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