The cereal market is resistant to the crisis

Monday, October 19, 2020

The international price index of cereals and vegetable oils moved in an upward direction in September. This is according to a new study by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) noting that the average food price index was 97.9 points during last September, increased by 2.1% from August 2020 and by 5% from September 2019. With the cereal trade expanding further in 2020/21, the global cereal market continues to demonstrate its resilience to the challenges and uncertainty caused by Covid-19.

The cereal price index increased by 5.1% from August 2020 and, by 13.6% from September 2019, due to high prices of wheat. Maize prices have also risen, corresponding to the lower production prospects in the European Union.

International sorghum and barley prices have also increased, while rice prices fell.

Increasing global demand for palm, sunflower and soybean oil

The price index of vegetable oils increased by 6% in September, which is a record, of the eight months driven by the increase global demand for palm oil, sunflower oil and soybean oil. The dairy price index remained unchanged in September, since the average increases in the prices of butter, cheese and skimmed milk powder were offset by a fall in milk powders in general.

Reduction of the price index in meat and sugar

The meat price index fell 0.9% in September compared to a month earlier, partially influenced by China’s decision to ban pork imports from Germany because of the outbreaks of African boars’ fever. Finally, the sugar price index decreased by 2.6% mainly due to the forecasts for an upcoming increase in world production, after the recovery of production in India and the good performance of Brazil.

The global forecasts for 2021

  • Global cereal production 2020: 2,762 million tons (+ 2.1% vs 2019)
  • Global cereal use 2020/21: 2,744 million tons (+ 2% vs 2019/20)
  • Global cereal reserves 2021: 890 million tons (+ 1.9% by 2020)
  • World wheat production 2020: 765 million tons (+ 0.6% vs 2019)
  • Global wheat use 2020/21: 757 million tons (+5.8 million tons vs 2019/20)
  • World rice production 2020: 509.1 million tons (+ 1.6% vs 2019)
  •  Global rice use 2020/21: 510.5 million tons (+ 1.5% vs 2019/20)


Maria Gourtsilidou

Source: FOODReporter Issue #0366/09-10-2020