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Slight decline after March record

According to the FAO, the decline in world food prices is mainly due to a modest decline in the prices of vegetable oils and cereals.

After posting a record rise in March, the FAO food price index fell slightly in April over one month. A performance mainly due to the decline in the prices of cereals and vegetable oils. However, sugar prices increased by 3.3% and meat prices set a new record with an increase of 2.2% compared to March.

After soaring in March, reaching a record high, world food prices fell in April to average 158.5 points (-0.8% over one month). According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), this decline was mainly due to a modest drop in the prices of vegetable oils and cereals. The comparison with April 2021 shows, however, that the FAO Food Price Index, which tracks the monthly evolution of the international prices of a basket of commonly traded food products, is still up 29 .8%.

In detail, vegetable oil prices fell 5.7% last month, erasing nearly a third of the increase recorded in March. The rationing of demand has driven down the prices of palm, sunflower and soybean oils. In addition, uncertainties regarding export availabilities from Indonesia, the world’s largest exporter of palm oil, contained a more marked drop in international prices. “This slight pullback in the index is welcome, particularly for low-income, food-deficit countries, but food prices remain close to their recently discovered highs, due to continued market tightening, which which was undermining the food security of the most vulnerable around the world,” said Máximo Torero Cullen, FAO Chief Economist. For their part, cereal prices fell by 0.7 points over the period, driven down by the 3% decline in world corn prices. The prolonged blockage of ports in Ukraine and fears over growing conditions in the United States had a strong impact on prices, which were pledged at 0.2%. A rise that was tempered by increased shipments from India and a higher than expected export volume in Russia.

International rice prices, for their part, accumulated by 2.3% over one month, driven by strong demand in China and the Middle East. Meanwhile, sugar prices rose 3.3%, driven by higher ethanol prices and fears over a slow start to the 2022 harvest in Brazil, the world’s largest sugar exporter. . Ditto for the price of meat, which set a new record, up 2.2% compared to March, with a rise in the price of poultry and beef. Finally, the prices of dairy products posted a slight increase of 0.9%, due to the persistent reduction in world supplies.


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