FAO World Food Price Index Fell in January 2024 to lowest level since February 2021

World food prices as measured by the FAO Food Price Index continued to fall, down for a sixth month to 118 index points in January 2024, the lowest level since February 2021. The index is 13.7 points (10.4%) lower from a year ago, well off the record hit in March 2022 after Russia invaded Ukraine. Cereals prices were down 2.2% to December 2020-lows as global wheat export prices declined amid strong competition among exporters and arrival of recently harvested supplies … Continue reading “FAO World Food Price Index Fell in January 2024 to lowest level since February 2021”

South Africa Leaves Interest Rates at 8.25%, Rand Falls Rallies with Delayed Rate Cuts

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) kept its benchmark repo interest rate at 8.25% at its January 25th, 2024, meting as widely anticipated. Rates remain at their highest since 2009. The bank highlighted the persistence of inflation risks while emphasizing a balanced evaluation of risks to medium-term growth. The SARB noted that the return of inflation to the target has been slow, despite the expected gradual moderation. Headline inflation fell for a second month to 5.1% in December from 5.5% … Continue reading “South Africa Leaves Interest Rates at 8.25%, Rand Falls Rallies with Delayed Rate Cuts”

South Africa Leaves Interest Rates at 8.25% in Split Vote, Rand Falls

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) kept its benchmark repo interest rate at 8.25% at its July 2023 meeting as markets had expected. The decision was split three members of the bank’s monetary policy committee voted for the pause, two advocated for a further increase of 0.25 percentage points. “Have interest rates peaked? The answer is a resounding no,” said Kganyago at a press conference. “Is this the end of the hiking cycle? No, it is not. It depends on … Continue reading “South Africa Leaves Interest Rates at 8.25% in Split Vote, Rand Falls”

South Africa Raises Interest Rates 50bps, Rand Falls to All Time Low

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) increased its benchmark repo interest rate by another 50 bps to 7.25% at its May 2023 meeting. Markets had expected a smaller 25 bps increase. Policymakers cited concerns regarding the significant depreciation of the rand and the mounting pressures of inflation as key drivers behind the rate adjustment. The SARB also revised its inflation forecasts, with inflation for 2023 now projected to average 6.2%, up from the previous estimate of 6.0%. The move triggered … Continue reading “South Africa Raises Interest Rates 50bps, Rand Falls to All Time Low”

FAO World Food Price Index Fell in March for Twelfth Consecutive Month

World food prices as measured by the FAO Food Price Index continued to fall, down for a 12th month to 126.9 points in March 2023, the lowest level since July 2021, and down 20.5% from the record hit in March 2022 after Russia invaded Ukraine. Sugar prices again were the anomaly, up 1.5% hitting its highest level since October 2016 amid concerns over lower global availabilities for both food and as a biofuel component. Meat prices rose 0.8%, namely bovine … Continue reading “FAO World Food Price Index Fell in March for Twelfth Consecutive Month”

South Africa Raises Interest Rates 50bps, Revises Inflation Higher

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) increased its benchmark repo interest rate by another 50 bps to 7.75% at its March 2023 meeting. Markets had expected a smaller 25 bps increase. The move triggered a surge in the rand , which extended earlier gains to rise nearly 2% against the dollar. It was the 9th consecutive rate hike since policy normalization started in November 2021, bringing borrowing costs to the highest since May 2009. Policymakers revised significantly upward headline inflation … Continue reading “South Africa Raises Interest Rates 50bps, Revises Inflation Higher”

FAO World Food Price Index Fell in February for Eleventh Consecutive Month

Food prices continue to fall after they were almost vertical after Russia invaded Ukraine. World food prices as measured by the FAO Food Price Index fell for the eleventh consecutive month in February. The index fell to 129.8 points in February 2023, down 18.7 percent from the record high 159.7 from March 2022. Sugar prices were the anomaly, they surged 6.9 percent, reaching the highest level since February 2017. FAO Food Price Index Highlights » The FAO Food Price Index* (FFPI) averaged … Continue reading “FAO World Food Price Index Fell in February for Eleventh Consecutive Month”

South African Rand Plunges on President Cyril Ramaphosa Farmgate Scandal Rumors

The South African rand fell over 4% against the dollar to around 17.95 before paring losses to the lowest since November 4th, after “farmgate” rumors spread that President Cyril Ramaphosa was considering resigning after a panel report found preliminary evidence, he may have committed serious misconduct. Ramaphosa was due to address the nation on Thursday, Ramaphosa’s spokesman Vincent Magwenya said: “An announcement is imminent. … I can’t confirm the date and time, we will advise.” in response to Reuters. Farmgate … Continue reading “South African Rand Plunges on President Cyril Ramaphosa Farmgate Scandal Rumors”

South Africa Raises Interest Rates 75bps to Tame Inflation

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) increased its benchmark repo interest rate by another 75 bps to 7% at its November 2022 meeting, as widely expected. Prime is now at 10.5%. This was the 7th consecutive rate hike as the SARB tries to tame inflation expectations more firmly around the mid-point of the target band and achieve the inflation target in 2024. South Africa’s inflation rate unexpectedly rose to 7.6% in October from 7.5% in September. The decision was not … Continue reading “South Africa Raises Interest Rates 75bps to Tame Inflation”

Corn Futures Steady as Harvest Season Winds Down

Corn prices corn prices down just 0.66% as harvest winds down and farmer selling slows.  The European Commission reduced their corn crop outlook by another 600k MT to 54.9 MMT to 25% lower yr/yr with imports 1 MMT higher to 22 MMT. The summer’s historic heat wave has crushed the crop from France to Ukraine. Mexico’s agriculture ministry has indicated that the country’s 2014 ban on genetically modified corn would not be amended. Mexico’s U.S. imports could be cut in … Continue reading “Corn Futures Steady as Harvest Season Winds Down”