FAO: World food prices set new high in 2022

World food prices continued to decline in December, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on Friday. However, for the whole of 2022, food prices have reached their highest levels on record.

The FAO food price index, measuring the monthly change in international prices of a basket of basic food products, recorded an average value of 132.4 points in December 2022, i.e. 1.9% less than in November, the ninth consecutive decline observed last year. This decline is dependent on the “slump world vegetable oil prices as well as lower grain and meat prices, partially offset by moderate increases in sugar and dairy prices”, specifies the UN organization.

On the other hand, the index underlines that prices, throughout the 12 months of the year 2022, recorded an even higher level than the previous years, i.e. a record level, due to the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. .

It should be noted that wheat export prices “decreased in December, as the ongoing harvests in the southern hemisphere increased supply and competition between exporters remained strong”, indicates the agency of the UN and to add that “world maize prices were also down from the previous month, mainly due to strong competition from Brazil, although drought concerns in Argentina helped to support prices”.

In addition, the FAO reveals that acquisitions made by Asian buyers and the appreciation of the currencies of some exporting countries against the United States dollar contributed to the persistence of the increase in world rice prices in December“.

However, the FAO Cereal Price Index, in 2022, reached the new high of 154.7 points, which is 23.5 points or 17.9% higher than in 2021 and 12.5 points or 8.8 % more than the previous record annual average value, recorded in 2011. This is due to “ a multitude of factors, including significant market disruptions, heightened uncertainties, rising energy and input costs, adverse weather conditions in a few key supplier countries, and continued high global food demand“, explains the Organization.

The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index, for its part, posted an average value of 144.4 points in December, having lost 10.3 points, or 6.7% since November and thus reaching its level on lowest since February 2021, while the dairy price index registered an average value of 139.1 points in December, 1.5 points or 1.1% higher than in November. Thus, their annual average stood at a value of 142.5 points, i.e. 23.3 points or 19.6 percent more than in 2021 and the highest annual average since 1990.

The Meat Price Index experienced its sixth consecutive monthly decline, although its value remains 2.5% higher than last year. That said, ” over the whole of 2022, the FAO Meat Price Index recorded an average value of 118.9 points, 11.2 points (10.4%) more than in 2021 and the average highest annual since 1990“, says the FAO.

Similar to the previous index, the Sugar Price Index reached an average value of 117.2 points in December, an increase of 2.4% compared to November, the second consecutive monthly increase. of the index, which reached its highest level in the last six months. ” Over the whole of 2022, the FAO Sugar Price Index recorded an average value of 114.5 points, 5.1 points (4.7%) more than in 2021, reaching its average highest annual since 2012“, says the UN agency.

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