World food price index falls to lowest level in more than two years

A man is selling vegetables in the local market.  - AFP
A man is selling vegetables in the local market. – AFP

The world food price index fell to its lowest level in more than two years in June, driven down by falls in the cost of sugar, vegetable oils, cereals and dairy products, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), a Rome-based organization said. . based UN agency

According to the UN agency, the price index, which tracks the monthly change in international prices of commonly traded food items, averaged 122.3 points in June, down 1.4% from May and 23.4% from its peak in March 2022. was less

As per the details, the price index for cereals has declined by 2.1% since May. International coarse grain prices eased 3.4% in June, mainly due to increased corn supplies from ongoing harvests in Argentina and Brazil and improved production prospects in major producing regions of the United States. application informed of.

As harvesting began in the Northern Hemisphere, international wheat prices declined 1.3%, influenced by ample supplies and lower export taxes in the Russian Federation, as well as international rice amid non-decreasing demand due to improved conditions in the US. prices declined by 1.2%. Indica varieties and efforts by Pakistan to attract export sales.

The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index declined 2.4% from May as lower world prices for palm and sunflower oil more than offset increases in quotations for soya and rapeseed oil, influenced by weather conditions in major producing regions.

The FAO Dairy Price Index declined 0.8% in June, due to lower international cheese prices, while butter prices rose worldwide due to active demand from spot supplies, mainly from the Middle East.

The FAO Sugar Price Index declined 3.2%, the first decline after four consecutive monthly increases, mainly due to good progress in Brazil’s sugarcane harvest and sluggish global import demand, especially from China.

The FAO Meat Price Index was virtually unchanged in June, with poultry meat prices rising on higher import demand from East Asia amid supply challenges linked to a widespread avian influenza outbreak. International pork prices also rose, while bovine and bovine meat prices declined due to increased exportable availability from Oceania.

World grain production is forecast to reach a record high in 2023/24, according to the latest grain supply and demand brief released on Thursday.

FAO raised its 2023 global cereal production forecast to 2,819 million tonnes, showing an increase of 1.1% over the previous year.

The higher forecast almost entirely reflects improved prospects for global wheat production, now pegged at 783.3 million tonnes, buoyed by improved prospects in several countries, including Canada, Kazakhstan and Turkey. However, global wheat production is still seen to be 2.3% lower than last season’s production.

Global coarse cereals production for the year is now forecast to increase by 2.9% from 2022 to 1,512 million tonnes. Similarly, world rice production is expected to increase by 1.2% to 523.7 million tonnes in 2023/24 from the 2022/23 low.

World grain use is expected to increase by 0.9% to 2,805 million tonnes in the coming season, led by an expected increase in the use of coarse grains, especially maize for animal feed.

The FAO raised its forecast for world grain stocks by the end of the 2023/24 season to 878 million tonnes, an increase of about 2.3% from the previous season. At this stage, the global grain stocks-to-use ratio would remain unchanged at 30.6%, “indicating comfortable supply prospects in the new season.”

FAO’s latest forecast for world trade in cereals in 2023/24 points to a possible 0.9% contraction from 2022/23, with wheat quantities seen to decline from record levels.

High food prices, economic recession, conflict, drought and the looming threat of El Niño weather patterns in many regions are raising food security concerns in many parts of the world. A total of 45 countries around the world have been assessed in need of external aid for food, according to the latest Crop Prospects and Food Situation Report, a quarterly publication published on Thursday by FAO’s Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS).

High domestic food prices, which differ from the FAO Food Price Index, are a driver of worrying levels of hunger in most of the 45 countries, 33 of which are located in Africa, 9 in Asia and also in Haiti, Ukraine and Venezuela.

World cereal production is projected to grow by 1.1% in 2023 from a year earlier, but it is predicted to contract in a group of 44 low-income food deficit countries (LIFDCs), the report said. Due to which the import requirements will increase.

The quarterly report provides detailed information on how people in affected countries face food insecurity and price trends. It also provides a detailed assessment of regional production and trade potential across the globe.

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