Food reaches its highest price in 32 years | News


Global prices for food commodities such as wheat, corn and vegetable oils jumped significantly in March to record highs, as the crisis in Ukraine spread shock across commodity markets. basic grains and vegetable oils, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reported on Friday.


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The FAO Food Price Index averaged 159.3 points in March, 12.6 percent higher than in February, when it had already reached its highest level since the index was created in 1990.

The index tracks monthly changes in international prices for a basket of commonly traded food products. The last level of the index was 33.6 percent higher than in March 2021.

According to the FAO, the cereal price index was 17.1 percent higher in March than in February, driven by large increases in the prices of wheat and all coarse grains, largely as a result of the conflict in Ukraine.

The United Nations agency recalled that Russia and Ukraine, together, accounted for about 30 and 20 percent of world exports of wheat and corn, respectively, during the last three years.

According to the report, world wheat prices soared 19.7 percent during the month, exacerbated by market concerns about crop conditions in the United States.

Meanwhile, corn prices posted a 19.1 percent month-on-month rise, reaching an all-time high along with those of barley and sorghum. As for the rice price index during March, it was little changed from February and thus still 10 percent below the previous year’s level.

The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index rose 23.2 percent, driven by higher quotations for sunflower seed oil, of which Ukraine is the world’s leading exporter.

Palm, soybean and rapeseed oil prices also rose notably as a result of higher sunflowerseed oil prices and higher crude oil prices, with soybean oil prices further supported by concerns. on the reduction of exports from South America.

The FAO Sugar Price Index rose 6.7 percent from February, reversing recent declines to hit a level more than 20 percent higher than March 2021. Higher crude oil prices were a factor. coupled with the appreciation of the Brazilian real currency, while favorable production prospects in India prevented further monthly price increases.

At the close of the 2021 agricultural year, the FAO estimate points to a world cereal production of 2,799 million tons, slightly higher than that of 2020, and rice production reaches a historical maximum of 520.3 million tons (in equivalent of ground rice).

FAO lowered its forecast for world cereal trade in the current marketing year to 469 million tonnes, marking a contraction from the 2020/21 level, largely due to the conflict in Ukraine and based on currently available information. .

Expectations point to the European Union and India increasing wheat exports, while Argentina, India and the US will ship more corn, partially offsetting the loss of exports from the Black Sea region.

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