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World import bill for food may drop 10% to $1.4 trillion

The global food import bill is expected to decline by 10 per cent to USD 1.4 trillion (about Rs 76.28 lakh crore) this year due to fall in expenditure on food items, UN body FAO has said.

'The 2012 forecast for global food import bills is set at USD 1.14 trillion, 10 per cent lower than the record of last year,' Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said in its latest Food Outlook report.

Lower global prices and freights, together with less cereal purchases are predicted to reduce global expenditure on imported foodstuffs in 2012, the bi-annual global market report added.

'The global food import bill is also likely to be marked by strong to moderate falls in the cost of most foodstuffs compared with 2011,' it said.

The highest decline is expected in vegetables and fruits (USD 27 billion) and cereals (USD24 billion). The value of imports is also estimated to decline for dairy products (USD 14 billion), sugar (USD 12 billion) and vegetable oils (USD 11 billion), it said.

Meanwhile, FAO noted that the global food prices declined by 8 per cent in October 2012 compared to the same month last year. 'FAO's food price index is a measure of the monthly change in international prices of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat and sugar.
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