Home Food Global Food Prices Hit Nearly Three-Year Low as Cereal and Meat Decline

Global Food Prices Hit Nearly Three-Year Low as Cereal and Meat Decline

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The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has reported that its world price index fell to its lowest level in almost three years in January. The index, which monitors the prices of the most globally traded food commodities, averaged 118.0 points, down from 119.1 in the previous month. This marks the lowest reading since February 2021, signaling a significant shift in the global food market.

Declines in Wheat and Maize Prices

The FAO attributes the drop in the price index to the substantial decline in global wheat and maize (corn) prices. Global wheat export prices in January saw a decrease due to intense competition among exporters and the influx of newly harvested supplies in southern hemisphere countries. The maize prices witnessed a sharp fall, reflecting improved crop conditions and the commencement of the harvest in Argentina, along with increased supplies in the United States. These factors combined contributed to the overall reduction in the world price index.

Seventh Consecutive Month of Meat Price Decline

The FAO’s report reveals that the meat price index experienced a decline for the seventh consecutive month. Abundant supplies from major exporting countries played a pivotal role in driving down international prices of poultry, bovine, and pig meats. This trend indicates a sustained period of favorable conditions for consumers and could impact the global meat industry.

Record-High World Cereal Production Predicted for 2023

In an additional report, the FAO presented encouraging developments in global cereal production for 2023. According to forecasts, production is poised to achieve an unprecedented milestone, reaching 2.836 billion metric tons, reflecting a 1.2% upswing from the preceding year. Additionally, there is a positive outlook for global coarse grain output, slated to set a new record at 1.523 billion tons, marking a notable increase of 12 million tons this month. This positive outlook is primarily attributed to new official data from key producers such as Canada, China (mainland), Turkey, and the United States, where higher yields and larger harvested areas have led to increased maize (corn) production estimates.

The combination of declining food prices and the anticipation of record-high cereal production brings a mixed picture for the global food market, with potential benefits for consumers but challenges for producers.

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