May 25, 2023

World food prices recorded a slight decline in February for the eleventh month in a row, despite the fact that sugar prices reached their highest level in six years, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said on Friday.

The FAO Food Price Index, which tracks global prices for a basket of staples, was down 0.6% from January.

Thus, prices as a whole fell by 18.7 percent from the record level recorded in March 2022, after the start of the Russian-Ukrainian war.

And FAO said that while the index has “regressed somewhat in recent months, food inflation has reached very high levels in many countries,” especially in Africa.

The organization notes that the overall decline in prices for vegetable oils by 3.2 percent and dairy products by 2.7 percent sufficiently offset the sharp rise in world sugar prices in February.

Sugar prices rose 6.9 percent to “the highest level in six years; This is mainly due to lower production forecasts for 2022-2023 in India and lower global crude oil and ethanol prices in Brazil.”

As for grain prices, which remained stable last month, compared to January, they remained “virtually unchanged”. And if wheat prices rose slightly due to fears of a drought in the US, then “intense competition between exporting countries”, which, like Russia, has rich reserves, compensates for this growth.

FAO also published its forecast for global wheat production in 2023 and expects a crop of 784 million tons, the second highest recorded so far, especially thanks to US farmers who have expanded acreage in light of the high grain price. .

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