ROME: Global sugar prices settled down in October, following sharp increases in previous months, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said Friday.
Sugar has been the most volatile food commodity in recent weeks, amid concerns over supplies sparked by extreme weather in sugar-producing countries, high energy prices, and the impacts of the El Nino weather phenomenon.
However, the FAO said that sugar prices declined 2.2 per cent in October, after surging 9.8 per cent the previous month to reach their highest level since 2010.
Despite the modest decline in October, global sugar prices were still 46.6 per cent above a year ago, after having climbed in eight of the last 12 months.
Meanwhile, the FAO’s overall Food Price Index declined slightly, in part due to lower sugar prices. The index fell by 0.5 per cent compared to the previous month. It has now declined in all but two months over the last year, and stands 10.9 per cent below its levels from October of last year, Xinhua reported.
Grains and cereals, the largest component in the index, saw prices decline by 1.0 per cent in October, paced by a 2.0 per cent decrease in rice prices amid weak global demand.
Prices for vegetable oils were down by 0.7 per cent in October, and meat prices were 0.6 per cent lower than a month earlier.
Dairy prices were the one food commodity group to see prices rise in October, climbing 2.2 per cent, pushed mostly by higher prices for milk powder due to an increase in demand. These gains reversed nine consecutive months of declines.-Bernama-Xinhua