Food commodity prices 16% lower than last year

Posted by Isobel Drake on 19th November 2009

The latest release the Westpac-NFF Commodity Index has shown that commodity prices remain 16.2 per cent below last year’s data, despite a 2.5 per cent rise in October.

Commodity prices that lifted during October, according to the Index, included wool (4.6%), cotton (3.0%), wheat (3.3%), barley (12.5%), dairy (7.6%), and beef (0.3%). International commodity prices easing during the month were canola (-4.6%) and sugar (-6.5%) – although sugar’s fall follows a strong run-up on the back of supply concerns.

Prices surged early in 2008 as talk about a food crisis reached fever pitch but the Global Financial Crisis and impressive yields of some crops ensured a fall late last year and early in 2009, with many prices since consolidating around 2007 levels. The Food and Agriculture Organization remains worried that the price hikes of 2008 may yet be seen again and do not anticipate pre-2006 prices ever returning.