Data Watch: FAO Food Price Index for March 2013

At the beginning of each month, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) releases a series of price indices for a variety of food commodities (here). The headline FAO Food Price Index is a composite of five food groupings: meat, dairy, cereals, oils and fats and sugar. The base 100 is the indexed averaged price for the 2002-2004 period. The March 2013 index number was released on April 11th. Key points are as follows:

  • The FAO Food Price Index averaged 212.4 for March 2013
  • The index was down 3.6 points from 216.0 for March 2012, or 1.7 in percentage terms
  • In inflation adjusted terms, the Food Price Index stood at 141.0 for March 2013 against the 2002-2004 base of 100

The nominal and real price indices have followed a trajectory not dissimilar to the global oil price (click chart for larger image). Here is food:

FAO March 2013 jpeg

And here is oil:

Spot Oil Prices jpg

Finally, price developments within the five main components of the Food Price Index can be seen below. The most noted change this month is the surge in dairy prices, up 11% in a single month due to dry weather in New Zealand.

FAO Food Price Index jpeg

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