World food prices hold in August 2012 – FAO

World prices of food commodities were unchanged during the month of August 2012 from July, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said September 6, 2012.

The Rome-based UN agency’s Food Price Index averaged 213 points in August 2012. The FAO Food Price Index spiked 6% in July after three months of decline.

The new Index showed that international prices of cereals and oils and fats changed little in August but sugar prices fell sharply, compensating for rising meat and dairy prices.

Presenting the Index, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said “This is reassuring. Although we should remain vigilant, current prices do not justify talk of a world food crisis.”

“But the international community can and should move to calm markets further,” he added.

Although still high, the FAO said the Index currently stands 25 points below its peak of 238 points in February 2011 and 18 points below its August 2011 level.

The FAO Cereal Price Index averaged 260 points in August, the same as in July, with some increases in wheat and rice offsetting a slight weakening in maize, the food agency said.

The Index measures monthly changes in international prices of a basket of food commodities.

By Ekow Quandzie

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