Food products: historical prices supplemented with levels (FAO

Cereals, oils, meats, sugar… the main food products saw their prices soar in March. Due to the war between Russia and Ukraine, the FAO Food Price Index has reached its highest level since its creation in 1990.

The Russia-Ukraine war is causing shocks in the markets for basic grains and vegetable oils. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), world food prices jumped in March, reaching their highest levels on record. Thus, last month, the FAO Food Price Index posted an average value of 159.3 points, an increase of 12.6% since February, “during the month it had already reached its highest level since its creation in 1990”, underlines the FAO. For its part, the FAO Cereals Price Index jumped 17.1% in one month, “under the effect of sharp increases in the prices of wheat and all coarse grains mainly due to the war in Ukraine”, indicates the Organization.

As a reminder, Russia and Ukraine alone account for 30% of world wheat exports and 20% of corn exports over the past 3 years. Also in the cereals category, world wheat prices climbed 19.7% in one month, those of maize took 19.1%, “thus reaching a record level, as were those of barley and sorghum “, emphasizes the FAO. Regarding vegetable oils, the jump in prices reached 23.2% due to the rise in the price of sunflower oil, the world’s leading exporter of which is Ukraine. The same trend is evident for palm, soybean and rapeseed oils. For its part, sugar has seen its prices soar by 6.7% since February, “which has offset recent declines and brought it to a level 20% higher than that of March 2021”, recalls the Organization. of the United Nations for food and agriculture.

The rise in the price of crude oil and the appreciation of the Brazilian real are the main factors behind this increase. For meat, prices gained 4.8% in one month to reach their highest level ever recorded, “mainly under the effect of a jump in pork prices due to a shortage of slaughter pigs in Western Europe”, explains the FAO. Firming prices are also affecting international poultry prices due to reduced supplies in major exporting countries following outbreaks of avian flu. Finally, the FAO Dairy Product Price Index fell by 2.6% to stand at a level 23.6% higher than in March 2021. And for good reason, the prices of butter and milk powders which have increased significantly in the context of a strong increase in import demand for short and long term deliveries, in particular in the Asian markets.


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