World food prices were largely stable in August from the month before, with a rise in wheat prices offset by declines in sugar, vegetable oils and dairy indices, the United Nations food agency said on Thursday.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation's (FAO) food price index, which measures monthly changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat and sugar, averaged 167.6 points last month, against a downwardly revised 167.2 in July.
The July figure was previously given as 168.8.
Drop In Wheat Production
FAO said global cereals output in 2018 was seen at 2.587 billion tonnes, down 64.5 million tonnes, or 2.4%, from 2017's record production level.
FAO's forecast for world wheat production in 2018 was cut by 1.9% since July and now stands at almost 722 million tonnes, the smallest since 2013.
The drop in wheat production, blamed largely on a heatwave in Europe, has pushed prices for this crop up some 8% month-on-month, the largest rise for any of the FAO indices.
By contrast FAO's sugar price index dropped 5.4% from July, the lowest level in a decade. The decline was largely due to the continued depreciation of the currencies of Brazil and India against the US dollar, FAO said.
News by Reuters, edited by ESM. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.