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Food prices 30% above their annual average despite April decline

Food prices

Rome, (Business News Report)|| Food prices are still 30% higher than their annual general average, although they fell last April from record levels in March, according to the FAO.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said that global food prices fell slightly last April, after hitting a record level in March, and fell thanks to vegetable oils and cereals.

According to the FAO’s food price index, which measures the most traded food commodities globally, it reached 158.5 points in April, compared to 159.7 in March.

“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,” said Máximo Torero Cullen, FAO Chief Economist.

Although declining on a monthly basis, the April index was 29.8% higher than the previous year, driven in part by concerns about the impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

In separate estimates of grain supply and demand on Friday, the FAO slightly lowered its forecast for global wheat production in 2022 to 782 million tons from 784 million last month.

The forecast took into account an expected decrease of 20% in harvest areas in Ukraine and an expected decrease in production in Morocco due to drought.

In a related context, the United Nations sent a severe warning about the continuing catastrophic food effects of the Russian war on Ukraine, stressing that millions of tons of food are still withheld.

The United Nations said that the war in Ukraine is having a serious impact on its ability to deliver urgently needed food aid to countries around the world, as most of it is being held in Ukraine’s ports.

Martin Frick, director of the United Nations World Food Programme, said that 4.5 million tons of grain were being held in Ukraine’s ports, on board ships and could not be used.

Importing food is very difficult as Ukraine’s ports and sea routes are inaccessible due to Russia’s offensive.

It is noteworthy that until the start of the war, Ukraine was one of the most important producers of wheat in the world, in addition to being the largest producer of corn, and many countries depend on cheap wheat from Ukraine, and the grain is important for food aid.