UPDATE 1-World food prices fall to near 5-year low in April - UN FAO

jueves 7 de mayo de 2015 05:30 GYT
 

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ROME May 7 (Reuters) - Global food prices fell in April to their lowest since June 2010, as dairy led most commodities down, the United Nations food agency said on Thursday.

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) price index, which measures monthly changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy, meat and sugar, averaged 171 points in April, 1.2 percent below its reading in March.

High global production, a strong U.S. dollar and cheaper crude oil have helped cap food prices for the past year and the index has been declining since April 2014.

There are no major concerns about supply, so external factors are likely to have more influence over price developments in the near future, FAO senior economist Abdolreza Abbassian said.

"My gut feeling is that the exchange rate would have the biggest influence, and if the dollar does get weaker this could be supportive to prices," Abbassian said.

Meat prices bucked the trend, rising in April for the first time since August 2014.

The FAO forecast world cereal production in 2015 would fall by 1.5 percent from the previous year, with overall output reaching 2.509 billion tonnes. Most of the decrease would come from reduced planting of maize, the agency said.

Cereal stocks at the end of the 2015-16 season are forecast to reach 626.6 million tonnes and world wheat output is due to hit 719.1 million tonnes, the FAO said.

(Reporting by Isla Binnie, editing by Philip Pullella and Dale Hudson)