Muscat: The general average of international foodstuff prices dropped by 9 per cent during the second quarter of this year, compared to the first quarter, according to information released by the Directorate-General of Food Security at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources, whose data is collected from various international agencies such as UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the International Grains Council (IGC) and the International Sugar Organisation (ISO).
Statistics of the FAO show that the average of staple foods index dropped by 9 per cnet during the second quarter of this year, compared to the first quarter of 2020. Sugar, whose prices dropped by 19 per cent, topped the list, followed by oil and fats (16 per cent down), meats and dairy products (6 per cent) and cereals (1 per cent).
According to the IGC data, the average of prices of cereals during the second quarter of 2020 maintained a steady rise at a marginal pace (1 per cent). The prices of rice grew by 13 per cent (the biggest hike), while the prices of corn posted the greatest decline (12 down), followed by wheat, soya beans and barley which dropped by 13 per cent, 12 per cent, 5 per cent and 3 per cent, respectively.
Compared to the second quarter of 2019, the prices of rice saw the biggest rise (19 per cent), followed by wheat (3 per cent) and soya beans (1 per cent), while the prices of corn and barley dropped by 12 per cent and 3 per cent, respectively.
The prices of sugar (raw, white) saw a 13 per cent decline during the second quarter of this year, compared to the first quarter of the same year, according to the ISG. The prices of raw sugar and white sugar dropped by 18 per cent and 9 per cent respectively. Compared to the second quarter of 2019, the prices of sugar (raw and white) dropped by 4 per cent.
According to the cereal market report issued by IGC last June, the world rice stock rose by 6 per cent during the 2018-2019 season, compared to the season before. Estimates of the 2019-2020 season point to a 2 per cent rise in stocks. According to 2020/2021 expectations, the stock is capable of seeing a 3 per cent hike.
Wheat prices registered a 2 per cent decrease during the 2018-2019 season, while estimates of 2019-2020 stocks point to an expected increase of 6 per cent by the end of the current season.
The global stock of corn in 2018-2019 season dropped by 5 per cent. Estimates perceive that a 7 per cent decline in the 2019-2020 season. The downtrend is expected to prevail at slight rate of 1 per cent during the current season, compared to the previous season.
The global soya beans stock during the last season saw a 20 per cent decrease, but it is expected to pick up again at a rate of 2 per cent by the end of this year. –ONA