The benchmark for world food commodity prices was unchanged in June, as increases in international quotations for vegetable oils, sugar and dairy products offset a decrease in those for cereals.

That’s according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) which has release its Food Price Index today, Friday, July 5.

The index, which tracks monthly changes in the international prices of a set of globally-traded food commodities, averaged 120.6 points in June, the same as its revised figure for May.

The index is now 2.1% lower than its year-earlier value and 24.8% below its March 2022 peak.

FAO Food Price Index

The FAO Cereal Price Index declined by 3% in June from May, with quotations for coarse grains, wheat and rice all down, driven in part by improved production prospects in major exporting countries.

The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index, by contrast, rose 3.1% from May, buoyed by reviving global import demand for palm oil and firm demand from the biofuel sector in the Americas for soy and sunflower oils.

The FAO Sugar Price Index increased by 1.9% from May after three consecutive monthly declines, due in large part to concerns over the likely impact of adverse weather and monsoons on production in Brazil and India.

The FAO Dairy Price Index rose by 1.2%, with international quotations for butter reaching a 24-month high on the back of increased global demand for near-term deliveries amid strong retail sales, seasonally falling milk deliveries in western Europe and low inventories in Oceania.

The FAO Meat Price Index was virtually unchanged in June, as slight increases in the world prices of ovine (sheep), pig and bovine meats nearly offset a supply-led decline in international poultry meat prices.

Global cereal output hitting all time high

FAO also updated its forecast for global cereal production in 2024, now pegging it at 2, 854 million tonnes, a new all-time high.

The ‘Cereal Supply and Demand Brief’, also issued by FAO today, attributed its raised projections to a better harvest outlook for maize in Argentina and Brazil as well as Turkey and Ukraine, which will offset downgrades to the outlook for Indonesia, Pakistan and several southern African countries.

The wheat production forecast has also been raised based on better prospects in Asia, notably Pakistan, which should outpace an expected decline in the Russian Federation due to inclement weather in major wheat producing areas earlier in the season.

Global rice production is projected to reach a record 535.1 million tonnes.

World cereal total utilisation in 2024/2025 is forecast to rise to 2,856 million tonnes, up 0.5% from the previous year, led by rice and coarse grains.

World cereal stocks are forecast to expand by 1.3% in 2025, leaving the global cereal stocks-to-use ration in 2024/2025 nearly unchanged at 30.8%.

FAO’s forecast for international trade in total cereals remains unchanged at 481 million tonnes, representing a 3% decline from 2023/2024.