The FAO’s index measuring monthly price changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy, meat and sugar, averaged 199.1 points in September, down about 1 percent from 201.4 points in August. The index has fallen for five consecutive months and has reached its lowest level since September 2010. “There is still some room for prices to go down but not significantly,” said FAO senior economist Abdolreza Abbassian. “Anything that happens now on the negative side could push up prices again,” he said. FAO is due to hold a second ministerial meeting to discuss food price volatility at its Rome headquarters on October 7, with 40 ministers expected to attend. Its first meeting last year was organized to tackle the third spike in grain prices in four years. Even though prices have fallen from their peaks, FAO said it wanted to hold another meeting as markets were still vulnerable to supply shocks. The agency said it had slightly trimmed its forecast for world cereal output in 2013/14 to 2.489 billion tons, 3 million tons lower than a previous estimate, but still 8 percent higher than production in 2012. It cut its forecast for world wheat output to 704.6 million tons from 709.8 million, mainly due to poorer prospects for the South American crop. Excessive moisture is also hampering the harvest in the Black Sea region and affecting planting for 2014, Abbassian said. He added that exportable supplies in major wheat exporters were tighter compared with last year, so any production problems could have a strong impact on international prices. World cereals stocks at the close of seasons ending in 2014 are now seen at about 559 million tons, down 2 percent from a previous estimate in September, though still 12 percent above their opening levels. FAO’s price index hit a record peak of 237.9 points in February 2011, when high food prices helped drive the Arab Spring uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa.
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Search Real Time Economics1 October 3, 2013, 10:43 AM World Food Prices Continue to Decline on Cheaper Cereal Print By Neena Rai World food prices fell for the fifth consecutive month in September, driven by falling international prices for cereals, according to data from the United Nations on Thursday, and analysts believe they still have further to fall. Reuters The U.N.s Food and Agriculture Organizations food-price index measures the monthly change in the international prices of a basket of food commodities. While the most recent food price spike in 2011 was triggered by a lack of cereal supply, the recent declines in food prices are mainly due to higher expected supplies of corn this year. The FAO index averaged 199.1 points in September, 1% lower than in August and 5.4% lower since the start of the year. Global cereal production, which includes wheat and corn, is expected to be 8% higher over 2012s level, at 2.49 billion tons. The U.S., the worlds largest corn producer, is responsible for the bulk of the increase, expected to harvest a record crop of 348 million tonsthats 27% higher than the previous year. U.S. corn supplies have been tight since the size of last years harvest was hit by severe drought. But after high acreage seeded with corn this spring and largely favorable summer weather, the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts record U.S. corn output this year. That should push corn prices lower. Current levels mark a drastic turnaround since food prices soared to new heights in early 2011 amid global supply constraints for cereals, sugar and cocoa.
World Food Prices Continue to Decline on Cheaper Cereal
While waiting for my turn to be helped on at the hot food bar at WholeFoods, I watched a couple ahead of me having trouble making a selection because they wanted foods that were gluten-free. The couple explained to the server behind the counter that one of them had just been tested for and diagnosed with an allergy to gluten. The counter clerk showed them exactly what to select. Another man overheard the exchange and asked the clerk if she could help him select something for a sweet snack because he was diabetic. Does your store cater to these kinds of situations? The current trend of healthy eating can leave the best of us in a state of confusion. Can you offer workshops and seminars for health-conscious eaters? Invite nutritionists, doctors and other health professionals to your store to have them provide educational information to your customers. In addition to having speakers come into your store, get yourself invited to speak at local organizations and associations on the benefits of healthy eating. And take samples of some of your best products along for taste testing. Can your customers sample any of the foods before purchasing? I recently purchased a bag of gluten-free, sugar-free cookies from a specialty store with the complete understanding that if I didn’t like the product I could bring it back for a refund without a hassle.
Napa Farms Market at San Francisco International Airport was awarded for best to-go food. The market, by Tastes on the Fly, also won for “best airport food and beverage reflecting sense of place.” The Red Lion at the London Gatwick Airport North Terminal received the award for best airport bar. Best wine bar honors were awarded to Cru Wine Bar at Denver International Airport. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport’s Concourse F food court took top honors. Shake Shack at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport received the award for best quick service dining. HIDE CAPTION Best airport ‘food to go’ Best airport bar Best fast food/quick service restaurant << Four U.S. airports won a total of six awards Copenhagen's airport took home three awards Awards included best coffee shop, best wine bar and best food court (CNN) — These aren't your stereotypical greasy airport burger and fries. Airports from the United States, England and Denmark dominated the Moodie Report 's third annual Airport Food & Beverage Awards, which were announced Wednesday evening in Dubai. "We have been deeply impressed by the volume and, more importantly, quality of nominations this year," said Martin Moodie, Moodie Report founder and chairman, in a statement prior to the awards announcement. The Moodie Report owns and produces the conference and the awards. "There's plenty of innovation and an intriguing reflection of a number of the sector's most notable trends," Moodie said. Best airport coffee shop: Joe & The Juice, Copenhagen Airport Best airport "food to go": Napa Farms Market, San Francisco International Airport Best airport food and beverage sense of place: Napa Farms Market, San Francisco International Airport Best airport bar: The Red Lion, London Gatwick Airport North Terminal Best airport wine bar: Cru Wine Bar, Denver International Airport Best airport casual dining restaurant: Giraffe, London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 Best airport chef-led dining: Le Sommelier Bar & Bistro (based on chef Francis Cardenau's restaurant in downtown Copenhagen), Copenhagen Airport Best airport food court: Concourse F food court, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Best fast food/quick service restaurant: Shake Shack, New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport Awards were handed out in 15 categories.