Global food prices dropped in March for the 12th consecutive month, the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced on Friday.
The FAO Food Price Index, which tracks monthly changes in the international prices of commonly-traded food commodities, averaged 126.9 points in March 2023, 2.1 percent lower than the previous month and 20.5 percent below its peak level in March 2022.
Low import demand and the extension of grain transportation within Black Sea ports caused the price drop.
International wheat prices fell by 7.1 percent, the cereal price index declined by 5.6 percent and vegetable oil’s-4.6 percent. Maize prices fell 4.6 percent globally due to expectations of a record harvest in Brazil.
In contrast, the FAO Sugar Price Index increased by 1.5 percent in March to its highest level since October 2016, owing to declining production prospects in India, Thailand, and China.
FAO forecasts the international rice trade to fall by 5.2 percent in 2023, compared to a record high in 2022.