The global food price index, published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), fell for the 11th consecutive month in February, down 19 percent from the record level set in March in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The organization said today, Friday, that its index, which tracks the prices of the most traded primary food commodities in the world, averaged 129.8 points last month, down from 130.6 in January. This is the lowest reading of the index since September 2021.
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The monthly update stated that the decrease in the prices of vegetable oils and dairy products helped to decline the index and erased the impact of the increase in sugar prices.
The FAO Cereal Price Index declined slightly by 0.1% month-on-month in February, with wheat prices rising marginally and rice prices declining.
Prices of vegetable oils fell 3.2 percent and dairy products 2.7 percent, while sugar rose 6.9 percent to a six-year high due to the downward revision in India’s production.
In a separate report on cereal supply and demand, the FAO issued its first preliminary forecast for global wheat production in 2023 and included estimates of a year-on-year decrease to 784 million tonnes, although the crop would remain at the second-highest level on record.
The FAO raised its estimate for global cereal production in 2022 by nine million tonnes to 2.77 billion tonnes, although it will still be 1.3 percent lower, on an annual basis.
The report indicated that the upward revision of estimates is due primarily to rice, with the improvement in production prospects in India.