Combined food inflation stood at 9.90% for January 2014, down from 11.97% for December 2013. For rural and urban areas, food inflation stood at 10.67% and 8.20%, respectively, in January 2014. Inflation in vegetable prices came down to 21.91% in January compared to 38.76% in December. Fruit prices rose 15.66% year-on-year in January, while pulses were dearer by 2.59% y-o-y. Inflation for cereals stood at 11.42% and inflation for milk products was 9.82%. The price rise of non-vegetarian items, such as eggs, meat and fish, was 11.69% in January compared to 12.64% in December 2013.
The US energy department has predicted that natural gas production will continue to grow. Natural gas futures fell for five consecutive days on the New York Exchange and was headed for the biggest weekly drop in 17 years after a government report showed a US stockpile decline that was lower than forecasts. NYMEX natural gas prices crashed by a huge 31.60%, to $4.441/mmBtu on 27th February, from a high of $6.493 on 24th February. On the MCX, February futures crashed by 31.14%, from a high of Rs402.7/Mmbtu to a low of Rs277.3/mmBtu, over the same period.