Food prices will fall first in developing countries: US official

By Ana Mano

SAO PAULO, July 26 (Reuters) – Seth Meyer, chief economist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said on Tuesday that falling commodity prices will take longer to ease food inflation in the United States than in the world. Developing.

Some of the world’s poorest nations were hit the hardest by a surge in corn and wheat prices after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February, due to their reliance on imports and the large share of income they consumers spend on food.

Now, Meyer said developing countries in North Africa and other regions could be the first to see some relief in prices at grocery stores, as staple crops have fallen to pre-war levels. and fields in North America are readying new crops.

“It’s a more immediate effect. Lower commodity prices lower the bill for certain importing countries and may temper some of what we’ve seen in relation to food price inflation,” Meyer told a conference on agriculture in São Paulo.

World food prices fell for the third straight month in June but remained close to record levels seen in March, the United Nations food agency said earlier this month.

Meyer said that in the United States there would be a greater backlog because food passes through more complex and processed supply chains.

US consumer prices accelerated in June as gasoline and food costs remained high, resulting in the biggest annual increase in inflation in 40-1/2 years.

“Wheat, corn or rice make up a fairly small part of the food dollars that consumers spend,” Meyer said.

“The more processed a product is, the greater the delay in the transmission to inflation of food prices and the more rigid those production prices are for the most processed basic products.” (Reporting by Ana Mano. Editing in Spanish by Marion Giraldo)

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