The FAO’s monthly Food Price Index, which averaged 136.3 points, was down 1.1 percent compared to August. It was the sixth consecutive month the index fell since it hit a peak in March after the conflict between Russia and Ukraine sent energy prices soaring and disrupted trade routes. .
Russian Grain Harvest May Reach Record 150 Mln Tons This Year
Despite the decline, the broad index – which tracks changes in global prices for common food commodities – remained higher than at the start of the year and, in real terms, higher than at any point before 2022 since the 1970s.
Prices of grains and cereals, which are part of the index, rose 2.2 percent partly due to uncertainty related to the supply of wheat through the Black Sea, the trade route most affected by the Ukraine crisis. Dry conditions in the United States and Argentina have also affected production in those countries, with rice prices also rising based in part on changes in export policies from India.
In a separate report also released on Friday, FAO estimated that global cereal production this year would be 2.768 billion tonnes, down 1.7 percent from 2021.
The rise in grain and cereal prices was offset by a sharp drop in vegetable oil prices, which fell 6.6 percent to their lowest level since February 2021. The FAO said rising production from Southeast Asia was a factor in the decline.
The other main components of the broad index fell, but only slightly.
FAO said milk prices fell by 0.6 per cent, but remained more than 20 per cent higher than the levels of a year ago. Meat prices were down 0.5 per cent, while sugar prices fell 0.7 per cent.