The world Food Price Index of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) continued to fall in June, with the downward trend being driven by a drop in the prices of sugar, vegetable oils, cereals and dairy products, the organization said Friday, reported Xinhua.
The index, which tracks the most globally-traded food commodities, averaged 122.3 points in June, and it is now 23.4 percent below an all-time peak reached in March 2022.
In June, the index slipped by 1.4 percent compared to May. Four of its five sub-components dropped in June, while the fifth — measuring meat prices – stayed almost level compared to May.
The prices of grains and cereals, which have the biggest weight in the index, were down 2.1 percent compared to a month earlier, with wheat, corn, rice, barley and sorghum prices all declining compared to May, as production levels picked up.
The prices of vegetable oil were down 2.4 percent compared to May as exports of palm and sunflower oil expanded. The vegetable oil price index is now at its lowest level since November 2020.
Sugar prices fell 3.2 percent due to strong production in Brazil.
Dairy prices fell more modestly, by 0.8 percent, but they were still 22.2 percent below the levels registered a year ago. For the second consecutive month, this sub-index fell due to higher production of cheese in Europe and higher exports of powdered milk from New Zealand.
Meat prices, meanwhile, changed very little compared to May as higher global production for pork and chicken was balanced by lower output for beef and sheep meat. The meat subindex has seen the least volatility over the last year, but it was still 6.4 percent below the level registered a year ago.
Even though markets have adapted to disrupted trade routes and higher fuel prices triggered by the Russia-Ukraine conflict, FAO officials have repeatedly warned that market uncertainties continue to threaten many of the world's poorest nations, which do not have steady access to global food markets.