Machines harvest wheat in a field in Rostov Oblast, Russia

World food prices hit record highs in 2022 despite December plunge

World food prices fell in December, marking the ninth straight monthly drop, but rose more than 14% in 2022 from a year earlier to hit the highest level on record, the food agency said on Friday. from the ONU.

The Food Price Index of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), which tracks international prices of the most traded food products worldwide, recorded an average of 132.4 points last month, up from a revised 135.00 points in November.

Previously, the November figure was 135.7 points.

For the whole of 2022, the reference index recorded an average of 143.7 points, which represents an increase of 18 points (14.3%) compared to 2021, and the highest figure since records began in 1990.

The decline in the index in December was driven by a sharp fall in the international price of vegetable oils, along with some declines in the prices of cereals and meat, but mitigated by slight increases in those of sugar and dairy products, according to the FAO.

Food prices soared after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February last year, amid fears it would disrupt trade in the Black Sea. Prices have been reduced in part due to a UN-backed grain export channel from Ukraine.

The FAO said last year that the costs of importing food in 2022 would lead the poorest countries to cut the volumes shipped.

Its food price index comprises the average of its price indices for meat, dairy products, cereals, vegetable oils and sugar, weighted by the average export shares of each of the groups for 2014 -2016, he indicated.

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