Global food prices fell slightly in April after hitting a record high in March, but remain high because of the difficult market conditions, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations reported last Friday.
The FAO Food Price Index, which tracks monthly changes in the international prices of commonly-traded food commodities, averaged 158.5 points last month, down 0.8% from March. But the index remained nearly 30% higher than in April 2021.
The FAO Chief Economist Máximo Torero Cullen said in the statement that, “The small decrease in the index is a welcome relief, particularly for low-income food-deficit countries, but still food prices remain close to their recent highs, reflecting persistent market tightness and posing a challenge to global food security for the most vulnerable.”
The agency's cereal price index fell 0.7% in April after a 17% jump in March. While maize prices dropped 3.0%, wheat prices rose 0.2%. FAO said wheat was hit by the geopolitical situation in Ukraine and worries over crop conditions in the United States, however these concerns were partially tempered by larger shipments from India and higher-than-expected exports from Russia.
FAO's vegetable oil price index dropped 5.7% in April due to the decline in world prices for palm, sunflower and soybean oils. Rapeseed oil quotes saw an increase last month.
Sugar prices surged 3.3%, the meat price index increased 2.2% and the dairy index added 0.9%.
In a separate cereal supply and demand estimates, the FAO slightly trimmed its projection of world wheat production in 2022 to 782 million tons, from 784 million last month.