UN-sponsored food deal pushes prices down
The UN Food Agency’s world price index fell again in July, further off the record highs hit in March.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Food Price Index, which tracks the world’s most traded food items, averaged 140.9 last month, up from a revised 154.3 in June. The June indicator was previously set at 154.2.
The July index was still 13.1% higher than a year earlier, helped by the aftermath of the conflict in Ukraine, adverse weather conditions and high production and transportation costs.
„The decline in food prices from very high levels is welcome, but many uncertainties remain,” said FAO Chief Economist Maximo Torero.
The gloomy outlook for the global economy, volatile exchange rates and high fertilizer prices, which could affect future production and farmers’ livelihoods, pose serious challenges to global food security, he said.
Price indexes for vegetable oil, sugar, dairy products, meat and grains fell in July on a monthly basis, with wheat falling by 14.5%, partly due to an agreement reached between Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the United Nations to unblock grain exports from the Black Sea ports.
The corn price index fell 10.7% in July, also due in part to a Russian-Ukrainian deal, as well as increased seasonal supply from key producers in Argentina and Brazil, FAO said.
Three ships carrying a total of 58,041 tons of corn were allowed to leave Ukrainian ports on Friday, the organization leading the operation said. The first ship with Ukrainian grain left Odessa on Monday.