The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations' Food Price Index, which monitors a basket of internationally traded food commodities, averaged 216 points last month, up three points or 1.4 percent from August.
That figure is 9 points lower than in September 2011, and 22 points below February 2011’s high of 238.
The FAO’s Meat Price Index rose four points to an average of 175 last month, up 2.1 percent over August. The pork sector gained 6 percent, while the poultry sector rose 2 by 2 percent.
The Cereal Price Index rose by 3 points to 263 last month; the FAO said wheat and rice gains offset the maize decline.
The Cereal Price Index is up 7 percent over the same time last year but it is still 4 points lower than April 2008’s high of 274.
Although the agency is lowering its forecasts for global cereal production this year, the FAO expects record harvests in what it terms Low-Income Food-Deficit Countries, or LIFDCs.
In fact, LIFDCs are looking at a predicted 534 million metric tons, up 1.7 percent from last year’s good harvest. But high prices will probably drive the 2012/13 cereal import figures to a record $36.5 billion for LIFDCs.
The Dairy Price Index rose by 7 percent from August—the sharpest monthly rise recorded since January 2011. It averaged 188 for September 2012.
The FAO is concerned about food security in Syria and Yemen, noting that 1.5 million Syrians now need urgent food assistance and that the number could double by the end of the year if the civil unrest continues.
Source: Argentine Beef Packers S.A.
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