Manufacturing News
TECH FLASH

Food prices spike

FAO food commodity index
Source: FAO.

The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports a 6 percent increase in its Food Price Index for the month of July after three months of decline. The index measures the monthly change in the international prices of a basket of food commodities. The index averaged 213 points, up 12 points from June but well below the February 2011 peak of 238 points. The sharp increase was attributed primarily to a surge in grain and sugar prices. International prices of meat and dairy barely changed.

The severe deterioration of US corn prospects following extensive drought conditions pushed up corn prices by almost 23 percent in July. International wheat futures also surged 19 percent due to worsened production prospects in the Russian Federation and expectations of strong demand for wheat as feed because of tight corn supplies. International rice prices, however, remained largely unchanged in July, with the FAO overall rice price index stable at 238, barely one point above June.

The FAO sugar price index leaped 12 percent (34 points) from June to a new level of 324 points. The FAO attributes the sharp upturn to untimely rains during the month of March that hampered sugarcane harvesting in Brazil, the world’s largest sugar producer.

The FAO meat price index averaged 168 points in July, down 1.7 percent (3 points) from June; it was the third consecutive monthly fall. Market weakness characterized the four major meat sectors, particularly pork, which saw prices fall by 3.6 percent. Popular belief is that beef prices will eventually rise due to Midwest drought.

A Reuters poll of 21 analysts estimated US corn yield for this year will be 127 bushels per acre, the lowest since 1997. Meanwhile, December corn futures rose to $8.2975 per bushel, the highest price ever recorded for a Chicago Board of Trade corn futures contract.

Though still early to show the effects of the drought, USDA-tabulated total agricultural exports year to date (through the end of June 2012) are $67.25 billion, running behind the total for the same period in 2011, which were $70.369 billion. Imports for January to June 2012  were $52.976 billion while they were $49.869 billion for the same period in 2011. Through the end of June this year, the USDA-calculated trade balance was $14.274 billion; the same period last year showed a $20.5 billion trade balance in the US’s favor.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Food Engineering Magazine.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

Food Engineering's Food Automation & Manufacturing Conference and Expo 2015

Images from Food Engineering's Food Automation & Manufacturing Conference and Expo in Clearwater Beach, Florida, April 12-15, 2015. The event brought food and beverage processors and suppliers together to gain valuable information on the latest trends and technologies in manufacturing, automation, sustainability and food safety.

Podcasts

Burns & McDonnell project manager RJ Hope and senior project engineer Justin Hamilton discuss the distinctions between Food Safety and Food Defense as well as the implications for food manufacturers of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
More Podcasts

Food Engineering

Food Engineering May 2015 Cover

2015 May

The May 2015 issue of Food Engineering explores effective tools for hitting manufacturing targets. Also, read how processors are looking for faster ways to detect harmful pathogens in food and beverages without sacrificing accuracy or reliability.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Plant Facility/Site Issues

What issue about your current plant facility/site keeps you up the most at night?
View Results Poll Archive

THE FOOD ENGINEERING STORE

Food-Authentication-Flyer-(.gif
Food Authentication Using Bioorganic Molecules

This text provides critical tools and data needed to augment routine food analysis and enhance food safety by aiding in the detection of counterfeit, and potentially deleterious, foods.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

STAY CONNECTED

FE recent tweets

facebook_40.pngtwitter_40px.pngyoutube_40px.png linkedin_40px.pngGoogle +

Food Master

Food Engineering Food Master 2015Food Master 2015 is now available!

Where the buying process begins in the food and beverage manufacturing market. 

Visit www.foodmaster.com to learn more.