The Food Price Index of the United Nations Organization for Agriculture (FAO, for its acronym in English), fell in August for the fifth consecutive month, reaching 138 points from 140.7 registered in July.
This figure is far from the historical maximum recorded in March when it reached 159.7 points, due to the resumption of grain exports from Ukrainian ports that contributed to improving supply prospects.
The index has fallen since March, after the war in Ukraine. However, the August reading was 7.9% higher than last year.
Regarding the cereal price index, it decreased 1.4% monthly in August, since the reopening of the Ukrainian ports of the Black Sea, under a diplomatic agreement, as well as the favorable prospects of the wheat harvest in North America and Russia weighed on prices, according to the agency.
However, the corn price index rose 1.5% last month as hot, dry weather lowered production prospects, especially in Europe and the United States.
The price indices that fell were those of vegetable oils (-3.3%), sugar (-2.1%), dairy products (-2%) and meat (-1.5%), as a consequence of the improvement in supply.
In the case of meat, specifically beef, prices fell due to weak domestic demand in some of the main exporting countries, while poultry prices fell due to high export availability worldwide.
Regarding dairy products, cheese prices increased for the tenth consecutive month and milk prices fell on expectations of an increase in supply from New Zealand, despite the fact that production continues to be lower in Europe and the United States.
Forecast for cereal production is reduced
In other estimates on grain supply and demand, the FAO lowered its forecast for world grain production in 2022 to 2.774 million tonnes, from a previous projection of 2.792 million in early July. This figure is 1.4% lower than the estimated production for the year.
The cut in its forecast for cereal production this year comes as the outlook for maize in the northern hemisphere was reduced by weather conditions, in particular the European Union yields, which fell 16% below their average. five-yearly, according to the FAO.
Global cereal use in 2022 and next year is expected to exceed production, at 2,792 million tonnes, leading to an expected 2.1% decline in world reserves compared to 2021 and this year, to 845 million tons.
This would represent a stock-to-use ratio of 29.5%, down from 30.9% in 2021/22.
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