New Delhi: Global food prices dropped sharply last month, the lowest since September 2011, on account of increased supplies, growing global economic uncertainties and a stronger US dollar, United Nation's body FAO said Thursday.
"Global food prices have dropped sharply in May due to generally favourable supplies, growing global economic uncertainties and strengthening of the US dollar," Food and Agriculture Organisation said in a statement.
The FAO Food Price Index (FPI) fell by 4 percent in May. It averaged 204 points and was 9 points down from April. This was the lowest level since September 2011 and about 14 percent below its peak in February 2011, it added.
FPI is a monthly measure of the change in international prices of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat and sugar.
"Crop prices have come down sharply from their peak level but they remain still high and vulnerable due to risks related to weather conditions in the critical growing months ahead," said FAO Grain Analyst Abdolreza Abbassian said.
The global body on the farm sector has also raised the forecast for world cereal production on the back of bumper maize output in the US.
World cereal production in 2012 stands at a record level of 2,419 million tonnes, 3.2 percent up from the 2011 record, it said.
The forecast of global rice production in 2012 is firmer and points to a 2.2 percent increase from 2011, to some 490 million tonnes, mostly reflecting larger plantings in Asia, it said.
In the case of wheat, the production is expected to decline by about 3 percent in 2012 to 680 million tonnes, which is still well above the average of the past five years, FAO added.
First Published: Thursday, June 7, 2012, 21:56