Muscat: Average price of some basic commodities continued rising during the second quarter of 2016. Prices increased by 13 per cent, compared to the first quarter of 2016, following the slump in world prices during the first quarter of 2016, according to data collected by the Public Authority for Stores and Food Reserve (PASFR), based upon information published by international organisations such as the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), International Grains Council and International Sugar Organisation.
The FAO average price index stood at 169 points during the second half of 2016; an increase of 8 per cent, compared to the first quarter. The index includes prices for the basic commodity group, including sugar, which surged 21 per cent, veg oil, which was up 9 per cent, meat, up 3 per cent, and dairy products, which fell 6 per cent.
As per the International Sugar Organisation, average raw and white sugar prices stood at $376 per tonne during the second half of 2016, an increase of 24 per cent, compared to the first quarter. The average price of white sugar stood at $476 per tonne during the second quarter of 2016.
As per data released by the International Grains Council, the average cereal price was $269 per tonne during the second quarter 2016, a growth of 8 per cent compared to the first quarter 2016. Meanwhile, wheat prices declined 5 per cent. The price of most of basic cereals rose during the period, including beans (20 per cent), rice (9 per cent) and wheat (6 per cent), while parley prices remained stable at $165 per tonne.
FAO forecasts indicate that after two years of weak world production of rice, the supply will recover due to stable weather conditions in north Asia. Rice production is expected to increase by 1 per cent during the 2016-2017 season. As per the estimates of the International Grains Council, the data points out that world reserves of rice during the 2015-2016 season will continue to decline by 11 million tonnes, compared to the 2014-2015 season. Forecasts also indicate that rice reserves will continue to fall by 2 million tonnes during the 2016-2017 season, compared to the 2015-2016 season.
Meanwhile, world stocks of corn declined by 3 million tonnes during the 2015-2016 season. Forecasts also point to world supplies growing by 1 million tonnes during the 2016-2017 season, compared to the 2015-2016 season. Further, FAO noted that world production of yellow corn will grow by 1 per cent during the 2016-2017 season due to the abundant crop in EU countries and the expansion of farms in the USA.
Additionally, world stocks of beans declined by 5 million tonnes in the 2015-2016 season, compared to the 2014-2015 season. Production is also expected to decline at the same rate next season.
As for world stocks of wheat, estimates point out that the supply will grow by 17 million tonnes during the 2015-2016 season, compared to the 2014-2015 season. Forecasts about wheat stocks during the 2016-2017 season expect to see growth of 9 million tonnes,compared to the current 2015-2016 season,which would be the highest in 15 years.