The world food price index falls for the sixth month in September -FAO

The world food price index falls for the sixth month in September -FAO

The United Nations food agency’s world price index fell for the sixth straight month in September, retreating from record highs hit earlier in the year following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said on Friday that its price index, which tracks the most traded food products globally, had an average of 136, 3 points last month, compared to a revised 137.9 in August.

The August figure was previously at 138.0.

The index has fallen from a record high of 159.7 in March. However, the September reading was 5.5% higher than a year earlier.

The latest drop was due to a 6.6% month-on-month decline in vegetable oil prices, helped by increased supply and lower crude prices.

Sugar, dairy and meat prices fell by less than one percentage point, easing inflationary pressures.

By contrast, the FAO Cereal Price Index rose 1.5% month-on-month in September, with wheat prices rising 2.2% on concerns over dry crop conditions in Argentina and the United States. United States, strong EU exports and increased uncertainty about access to Ukrainian Black Sea ports after November.

Rice prices rose 2.2%, partly due to concerns about the impact of recent severe flooding in Pakistan.

In other estimates on cereal supply and demand, the FAO lowered its forecast for global cereal production in 2022 to 2,768 million tonnes, from 2,774 million previously.

This represents 1.7% less than the estimated production for 2021.

“A lower global coarse grains production forecast makes up the bulk of this month’s overall cut, as adverse weather continued to dampen yield prospects in major producing countries,” the FAO said.

Global cereal use in 2022/23 is expected to exceed production, at 2,784 million tonnes, leading to an expected 1.6% decline in global stocks compared to 2021/22, to 848 million of tons.

This would represent a stock-to-use ratio of 29.7%, down from 31.0% in 2021/22, but still relatively high historically, according to the FAO.

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