Record food prices fall slightly in April: UN agency

Record food prices fall slightly in April: UN agency

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), world food prices fell in April after a significant jump in March.

The agency reported on Friday that there had been “modest declines” in vegetable oil and grain prices.

The FAO Food Price Index, which tracks monthly changes in the international prices of a basket of commonly traded food products, fell 0.8% from the record high reached in March and averaged 158.5 points last month, although it remained 29.8% higher than in April 2021.

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The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index fell 5.7% in April as demand rationing pushed down prices for palm, sunflower and soybean oils.

The FAO Cereal Price Index fell 0.7 points in April, pushed down by a 3% drop in world maize prices.

A French farmer harvests his wheat field in Thoune-L’Evêque, northern France, on July 22, 2021. (Reuters/Pascal Rossignol/File/Reuters)

“The slight decline in the index is a welcome relief, particularly for low-income, food-deficit countries, but food prices remain close to recent highs, reflecting continued market tensions and posing a challenge. to global food security for the most vulnerable,” FAO Chief Economist Máximo Torero Cullen said in a statement.

The FAO said international wheat prices were still affected by the continued blockade of ports in Ukraine, as well as concerns over crop conditions in the United States, but were also tempered by larger shipments from India. and higher than expected exports from Russia.

International rice prices rose 2.3% from their March levels.

The FAO has slightly reduced its projection for world wheat production in 2022 to 782 million tonnes, from 784 million last month.

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The FAO sugar price index rose 3.3%, the meat price index rose 2.2% from the previous month and the dairy price index rose 0, 9%.

In separate grain supply and demand estimates, forecasts point to a likely decline of 1.2% in world grain trade in the 2021-2022 marketing year, compared to the previous year.

“The decline is associated with corn and other coarse grains, while rice trade volumes are expected to increase by 3.8% and wheat by 1.0%,” the agency said.

World cereal utilization for the period 2021-2022 is expected to increase by 0.9% compared to the previous year.

New estimates of global cereal stocks at the end of seasons in 2022 now stand at 856 million tonnes.

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This forecast includes an anticipated 20% drop in harvested area in Ukraine, as well as a drop in production due to drought in Morocco.

Estimates indicate that Brazil is on track to harvest a record corn crop in 2022, while early planting surveys indicate that corn acreage in the United States is expected to decline by 4%.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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