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:
And here is oil:
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.