World food prices dipped in Feb as virus hit demand: FAO

Earth food charges slipped in February, ending 4 months of successive improves, with the unfold of coronavirus dampening desire for some products, the United Nations food agency reported on Thursday.

The Food stuff and Agriculture Corporation (FAO) food price tag index, which measures month to month variations for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat and sugar, averaged one hundred eighty.5 factors past thirty day period, down 1. for each cent on January.

FAO also marginally upped its forecast for cereal production, predicting a crop totalling some 2.719 billion tonnes in 2019, up from a preceding forecast of 2.715 billion and some 2.3 for each cent better than the 2018 crop.

The vegetable oil price tag index plunged 10.3 for each cent from January, led by a slump in palm oil charges, whilst the cereal price tag index eased .9 for each cent, with the worldwide charges of all major cereals, except rice, declining.

FAO reported the unfold of the coronavirus contributed to the price tag drop in each indices amid fears the outbreak would result in a world-wide slowdown.

Coronavirus also strike the meat price tag index, which dropped 2 for each cent on the thirty day period as imports declined to China, the epicentre of the outbreak, which has so significantly contaminated at minimum 95,three hundred persons globally and triggered additional than 3,200 deaths.

The dairy price tag index rose four.six for each cent, pushed better by a rise for cheese, fuelled by tightening export supplies from New Zealand and Australia.

However, quotations for milk powder fell because of to a slowdown in buys by China, the world’s major importer, since of delays in cargo managing in ports, impacted by the unfold of the coronavirus, FAO reported.