A new vision for agriculture
momagri, movement for a world agricultural organization, is a think tank chaired by Christian Pèes.
It brings together, managers from the agricultural world and important people from external perspectives,
such as health, development, strategy and defense. Its objective is to promote regulation
of agricultural markets by creating new evaluation tools, such as economic models and indicators,
and by drawing up proposals for an agricultural and international food policy.
A look at the news

Food prices are falling, but for how long?

18 April 2011


For the first time in eight months, following the evolution of global food prices, the FAO index has declined. If this slight decline is related to the lull following the peak in agricultural commodities in recent months, it is still too early to draw conclusions about long-term trends.

"The decrease in the overall index this month brings some welcome respite from the continuing increases of the past eight months," said David Hallam, Director of the FAO's Trade and Markets Division. Indeed in March, the FAO price index was at almost 230 points, down 2.9% from February. A sure decline, but we must remember that the food price index remains above its 37% level of March 2010.

Is this fall an epiphenomenon in an upward trend or indicative of a trend reversal? For the moment, it's impossible to say. As David Hallam reminds us, uncertainty remains in agricultural markets: "We need to see the information on new plantings over the next few weeks to get an idea of future production levels. But low stock levels, the implications on oil prices after the events in the Middle East and North Africa and the catastrophe in Japan all make for continuing uncertainty and price volatility over the coming months."

Henceforth, setting aside this random decline, the real question today is what interpretation should be given to this recent price movement? Does the information currently available reflect market realities? Apparently not ... Other factors less directly related to levels of supply and demand for agricultural goods, such as positions on futures markets or exchange rates, have a more significant impact on price levels. So, the announcement made by the FAO has to be taken with caution, because the only certainty, is that price volatility will continue.
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Paris, 26 April 2019