• Thursday, April 18, 2024
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Global food prices fall for seventh straight month in February

Global food prices fall for seventh straight month in February

The global food price index dipped for the seventh straight month in February, as sharp fall in the prices of cereals and vegetable oils outweigh the rise in sugar and others, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

The global food price index in February averaged 117.3 points (0.7 percent) decline from January (118.5 points), the UN agency said. Year-on-year, it declined 10.5 percent from the same month of 2023 (131.1 points).

“The benchmark for world food commodity prices declined for the seventh consecutive month in February, as lower international quotations for all major cereals more than offset rising prices of sugar and meat,” the report stated.

For the whole of 2023, the February 2024 global food price index is the lowest.

The report noted that the largest price falls were in cereals, with the price index declining 5.4 percent in February from January and a significant 28.9 percent in the corresponding month of 2023.

The price index of cereals declined by 5.4 percent from 119.9 points in January to 113.8 points, this is influenced by expectations of large harvests in Argentina and Brazil, along with competitive prices offered by Ukraine to take advantage of the smooth running of the maritime trade route.

“International prices of all major cereals declined month-on-month,” the report said.

The FAO’s All Rice Price Index averaged 140.5 points in February, down 1.6 percent from 142.8 points in January, amid paddy scarcity.

Also, the price index for vegetable oils, a key player in the February global food price index decline, went down by 1.3 percent (120.9 points) from 122.5 points in January.

Year-on-year, prices of vegetable oils declined 11.0 percent from the corresponding month in 2023.

“The decline mainly reflected lower world prices of soy, sunflower and rapeseed oils, more than offsetting marginally higher palm oil quotations,” the international report said.

The international agency’s sugar price index showed the most increase with 140.8 points in February. It increased 3.2 percent from the previous month and 11.1 percent from the same month of 2023.

According to the report, production declines in Thailand and India, two major sugar-producing countries in the world, contributed to the price increase. It noted that continued insufficient rainfall season in Brazil, another leading sugar-producing country, exacerbated sugar prices.

The meat price index plunged 2.0 percent from 110.5 points in January to 112.4 points in February and also rose 0.8 percent in the same month of 2023.

The February dairy price index rose 1.1 percent to 12o.0 points in February from 118.7 points in January but declined 15.5 percent from a year earlier.