The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s world price index increased in April for the first time in a year, but it is still approximately 20% above the record high reached in March 2022 due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) price index, which measures the most widely traded food commodities, averaged 127.2 points in April, up from 126.5 in March, the agency reported on Friday. The original March reading was given as 126.9.
The agency based in Rome stated that the increase in April was due to higher prices for sugar, meat, and rice, which negated decreases in the cereals, dairy, and vegetable oil price indices.
“As economies recover from significant slowdowns, demand will increase, exerting upward pressure on food prices,” explained FAO Chief Economist Maximo Torero.
The sugar price index increased by 17.6 percent from March to its greatest level since October 2011.
FAO stated that the increase was attributable to fears of restricted supplies as a result of downward revisions to production forecasts for India and China, as well as lower-than-anticipated outputs in Thailand and the European Union.
While the meat index increased by 1.3 percent month-over-month, dairy prices fell by 1.7 percent, vegetable oil prices fell by 1.3 percent, and the cereal price index fell by 1.7 percent, with a drop in world prices of all main grains outweighing a rise in rice prices.
“The rise in rice prices is extremely worrisome, and the Black Sea initiative must be renewed to prevent further price spikes in wheat and maize,” said Torero, referring to a deal allowing the export of Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea.
The FAO forecasts that global wheat production will reach 785 million tonnes in 2023. A modest decrease from 2022 levels but still the second-highest yield on record.