Cheaper coffee, oilseeds and shipping costs mean the world’s food import bill is expected to fall for the first time in four years.
The cost of buying food from abroad may drop 2.5 percent to $1.47 trillion this year, according to the the United Nations’ Food & Agriculture Organization. The FAO doesn’t forecast increases for any of the main food groups and coffee, tea, cocoa and vegetable oil prices are expected to fare worst.
Lower bills would be good news for consumers who’ve paid more for food in recent years, helping to push up inflation. Costs are now coming down as coffee to grains are pressured by abundant supplies and trade tensions. At the same time, commodity freight costs have fallen almost 50 percent from a July peak amid concerns about worsening prospects for global economic growth.