Global food prices fell in May


The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) announced the food price index for May.

The FAO Food Price Index decreased by 2.6 percent on a monthly basis in May, while it decreased by 22.1 percent on an annual basis to an average of 124.3 points.

Thus, global food prices were pulled to the lowest level in the last two years.

The decline in May was supported by significant decreases in vegetable oils, cereals and dairy product price indices partially offset by increases in sugar and meat indices.

The FAO Grain Price Index fell 4.8 percent on a monthly basis, while it fell 25.3 percent on a year-on-year basis. International wheat prices fell 3.5 percent on a monthly basis due to the expectation of ample global supplies in the upcoming 2023/24 season and the extension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative. World corn prices decreased by 9.8 percent in May.

The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index fell 8.7 percent on a monthly basis in May, while it receded 48.2 percent on an annual basis. The continued decline in the index reflects lower world prices for palm, soy, rapeseed and sunflower oils.

The FAO Dairy Price Index fell 3.2 percent month-on-month in May, down 17.7 percent year-on-year. The decline in May was led by a sharp fall in international cheese prices amid abundant export opportunities, including stocks, amid seasonally high milk production in the northern hemisphere.

The FAO Meat Price Index, on the other hand, increased by 1.0 percent on a monthly basis to an average of 117.9 points in May and maintained its upward trend for four consecutive months. The index fell 4.1 percent year-on-year. International poultry prices rose further in May amid continued high import demand, particularly from Asia, and some concerns about potential short-term supply difficulties from widespread avian flu outbreaks. Global beef prices have seen limited increases.

The FAO Sugar Price Index also increased by 5.5 percent on a monthly basis, reaching an average of 157.6 points in May, marking the fourth consecutive monthly increase of 30.9 percent above its value a year ago. Growing concerns about how El Niño could affect 2023/24 crops and lower-than-expected global inventories in the 2022/23 season triggered the rise in international sugar prices in May.

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