This year, food prices are starting to ease. February food inflation, as measured by the World Bank food index, was still positive but more than 3 percentage points moderated from the previous month (...
Figure A1.22). Edible oil prices declined by only 1% from a year earlier, primarily reflecting the fall in palm and soybean oil prices. The price index for other food continued its downward trend, showing deflation since the end of 2011. This largely reflects the price of sugar, which has been on a downtrend and is almost 25% lower than a year ago. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, sugar prices have been declining in anticipation of higher world production, notably from Brazil and Thailand. For the second consecutive month, grain prices registered lower rates of growth year on year. Grain prices rose by 9% over a year earlier, 3 percentage points lower than in January
2013. The recent decline was mainly from easing wheat prices as crop prospects improved in the US. The average price of maize in February 2013 was only slightly lower than a month earlier because supply was still tight. The increase in rice prices since late 2012 is generally attributed to Thailand’s rice-pledging scheme and some tightening of supply from the US.
Source: World Bank. Commodity Price Data (Pink Sheet). http://www.worldbank.
org (accessed 16 March 2013).
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