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Global food import bill on rise despite stable markets

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Staff Writer | June 9, 2017
Global food commodity markets are well-balanced, buoyed by ample supplies of wheat and maize and rebounding production of oilseed products.
Global food import bill
Food trade   Rising shipping costs
However, rising shipping costs and larger import volumes are set to lift the global food import bill to more than USD 1.3 trillion this year, a 10.6 percent increase from 2016, FAO said today in its biannual Food Outlook.

The food import bills of least-developed countries, low-income food deficit countries and countries in sub-Saharan Africa are on course to rise even faster due to higher import volumes of meat, sugar, dairy and oilseed products.

Rising import bills are forecast for all food categories except for fish, for which growing domestic market demand in many developing countries is being increasingly met by robust growth in their local aquaculture sectors.

Global food commodity prices rose for the first time in three months in May, with the FAO Food Price Index - also released today - averaging 172.6 points during the month, 2.2 percent higher than in April and some 10 percent higher than May 2016.

FAO's Food Price Index is a trade-weighted index tracking international market prices of five major food commodity groups: cereals, vegetable oils, dairy, meat and sugar. Rising prices were reported in May for all of those groups except sugar.