Slight decline in food prices in April ‘welcome relief’ |

FAO The April food price index averaged 158.2 points, down 0.8% from March, but remained nearly 30% higher than April 2021.

The index tracks monthly changes in world prices for a basket of food products, and the decline was caused by a slight decrease in prices for vegetable oils and cereals.

The most vulnerable are still at risk

“The slight decline in the index is a welcome relief, especially for low-income, food-deficit countries. yet food prices remain close to their recent highsreflecting persistent market shortages and threatening global food security for the most vulnerable.” said Maximo Torero Cullen, FAO Chief Economist.

The vegetable oil price index recorded a 5.7% drop in April, losing almost a third of March’s gain.

Demand rationing has driven down prices for palm, sunflower and soybean oils, the FAO said, while uncertainty over export supplies from Indonesia, the world’s leading palm oil exporter, has held back further price declines in the international market.

Impact of the war in Ukraine

The FAO Cereal Price Index fell 0.7 points in April due to a 3.0 percent decline in world corn prices.

Wheat prices rose by 0.2% due to the ongoing blocking of ports in Ukraine. The country, together with Russia, accounts for about 30 percent of world wheat exports.

Other growth factors included concerns about the health of US crops, albeit tempered by larger shipments from India and higher-than-expected exports from Russia.

Meanwhile, global rice prices rose 2.3 percent on strong demand from China and the Middle East.

FAO also released updated forecasts global supply and demand for cereals, which indicate that although stocks are rising, trade is likely to decline this year.

World wheat production is projected to rise to 782 million tons, which includes an expected 20% reduction in planted area in Ukraine, as well as a decrease due to drought in Morocco.

meat record

The FAO said the sugar price index rose 3.3 percent in April, mainly due to higher ethanol prices and concerns about a slow start to the 2022 harvest in Brazil, the world’s largest sugar exporter.

The FAO Meat Price Index hit a new record high last month, rising 2.2 percent as poultry, pork and beef prices rose. Poultry prices were affected by interruptions in exports from Ukraine and an increase in the number of outbreaks of bird flu in the northern hemisphere.

The Dairy Price Index also jumped 0.9 percent in what the FAO described as a “persistent global supply shortfall” with milk production in Western Europe and Oceania continuing to remain below seasonal levels.

The agency reported that world prices for butter rose most of all under the influence of growth in demand associated with the current shortage of sunflower oil and margarine.

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