United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has said that the world food prices fell in January for the tenth consecutive month. The FAO Food Price Index averaged 131.2 points in January 2023, down 1.1 points (0.8%) from December 2022, the agency said on February 3.
“With this latest decline, the index has fallen 28.6 points (17.9%) from the peak it reached in March 2022,” FAO said.
The December figure was revised down from an original estimate of 132.4. It was the lowest reading since September 2021, and is now down about 18% from a record high hit last March following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The FAO’s price index tracks the most globally traded food commodities. The index rose just 0.1% month-on-month in January to give a 4.8% increase on the year. International wheat prices declined 2.5% as production in Australia and Russia outpaced expectations. In comparison, rice jumped 6.2%, driven partly by strong local demand in some Asian exporting countries. Falls in the prices of vegetable oils, dairy and sugar helped decrease the index, while cereals and meat remained largely stable. In separate cereal supply and demand estimates, the FAO raised its forecast for global cereal production in 2022 to 2.765 billion tonnes from a previous estimate of 2.756 billion tonnes.