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Food Price Index Falls Again ; FAO Report


ROME, ITALY :The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations FAO released a report on March 3 that indicated that the benchmark index of international food commodity price experienced a slight decline in February, marking the 11th consecutive month of declines.

In February, the FAO Food Price Index averaged 129.8 points, a slight decrease of 0.6% from January but a nearly 19% decrease from its peak in March 2022. The quotations for vegetable oils and dairy products decreased, more than compensating for the steep rise in sugar prices, which accounted for the decrease in the index, which measures monthly changes in the international prices of commonly traded food commodities.

From January, the FAO Cereal Price Index remained virtually unchanged. Concerns about dry conditions in the United States and a strong demand for supplies from Australia largely were countered by strong competition among exporters, which resulted in a slight rise in international wheat prices during the month.

Due to a slowdown in trading in the majority of major Asian exporters, whose currencies also depreciated against the US dollar, international rice prices decreased by 1%.

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The world prices of palm, soy, sunflowerseed, and rapeseed oils all decreased, which resulted in a decrease of 3.2% in the FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index from January.

The international quotations for butter and skim milk powder experienced the greatest decrease in the FAO Dairy Price Index’s monthly decline of 2.7%.

The FAO Meat Price Index also remained pretty much the same as it had been in January. Despite the outbreaks of the avian Influenza in several of the world’s leading producers, international pig meat prices increased primarily due to concerns about tighter export availability in Europe. World poultry prices continued to fall despite abundant export supplies.

However, favorable crop prospects in other suppliers, combined with lower international crude oil prices and ethanol prices in Brazil, limited upward pressure on sugar prices. In contrast, the FAO Sugar Price Index rose 6.9% from January to its highest level in six years. This was primarily due to a downward revision to the 2022-23 production forecast in India.