World food prices hit lowest in nearly 3 years, says UN food agency

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World food prices hit lowest in nearly 3 years, says UN food agency
World food prices hit lowest in nearly 3 years, says UN food agency

Africa-Press – Tanzania. Global food prices decreased to nearly a three-year low in December 2023 led by significant declines in prices of sugar, vegetable oils and meat, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) revealed on Friday.

The FAO food price index dropped 1.5% from a month earlier to 118.5 points in December 2023, marking its lowest level since February 2021.

For 2023 as a whole, the index recorded 124 points – 19.7 points or 13.7% lower than the average value in 2022, according to the UN food agency report.

The FAO food price index is a trade-weighted index that tracks international market prices of five major food commodity groups.

The sugar price index plunged 16.6% month-on-month in December 2023, mainly driven by the strong pace of production in Brazil, bolstered by conducive weather conditions.

The vegetable oil price index went down by 1.4% from November 2021 as prices across palm, soy, rapeseed, and sunflower seed oils declined due to subdued purchases from major importers.

The FAO meat price index fell 1% in the same period, led by persistent weak import demand from Asia for pig meat.

The cereal price index, on the other hand, rose 1.5% from the prior month, supported by weather-related logistical disruptions in some major exporters and tensions in the Black Sea amid solid demand.

The dairy price index also gained 1.6% in December 2023 thanks to higher price quotations for butter, whole milk powder, and cheese.

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