Following two consecutive months of decline in June and July, global food commodity prices experienced a 'rapid rebound' in August, led by sugar, vegetable oils and cereals, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).

The FAO's Food Price Index averaged 127.4 points in August 2021, up 3.9 points - or 3.1% - from July and 31.5 points - or 32.9% - from the same period last year.

FAO - dairy index

However, the FAO dairy price index averaged 116 points in August, down marginally from July but still 13.9 points - or 13.6% - above its value in the corresponding month in 2020.

In August, international quotations for milk powders fell but by contrast, price quotations for cheese rose, underpinned by increased internal demand and tightened supplies in Europe, offset by a slight decline in prices in Oceania (made up of thousands of islands throughout the Central and South Pacific Ocean) on rising production.

Butter prices also rose slightly, pressured by high import demand from East Asia.

Meat index

The meat price index averaged 112.5 points in August, up slightly from July, placing the index 20.3 points - or 22% - above its value in the corresponding month last year.

In August, international quotations for ovine and bovine meats increased mainly because of high purchases, primarily by China, and constrained supplies of animals for slaughter in Oceania.

Poultry meat prices also rose, reflecting solid import demand from East Asia and the Middle East, and limited production expansions in some major exporting countries owing to high input costs and labour shortages.

By contrast, pigmeat prices fell due to China's continued decline in purchases and weak internal demand in Europe amidst a slight increase in the supply of slaughter-ready pigs.

Cereal index

Averaging 129.8 points in August, the cereal index was up 4.3 points - or 3.4% - from July and 30.8 points - or 31.1% - above its August 2020 level.

Reduced harvest expectations in several major exporting countries pushed up world wheat prices by 11.1 points - 8.8% - month-on-month, to 41.5 points - or 43.5 - above their level one year ago.

Among other cereals, price trends were mixed in August.

Lower barley production outlooks, especially in Canada and the US, and spillover from rising wheat prices pushed up international barley values by 10.9 points - 9.0% - since July, to 34.7 points - or 35.6% - above their levels of one year ago.

By contrast, maize prices registered a slight decline of 1.3 points - 0.9%. Improved production prospects in Argentina, the EU and Ukraine, moderated the effects of lowered production forecasts in Brazil and the US.

International rice prices remained on a downward trajectory in August, influenced by efforts to promote foreign sales as well as currency movements.