World food price index ends 2023 some 10% below 2022 levels

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In the financial realm, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) world price index concluded the past year approximately 10% below its 2022 levels, exhibiting a decline in values for December compared to the previous month. This trend has contributed to alleviating concerns surrounding global food price inflation.

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The FAO’s price index, a gauge of the most globally traded food commodities, recorded an average of 118.5 points in December, marking a 1.5% decrease from November and a substantial 10.1% reduction compared to December 2022.

Throughout the entirety of 2023, the index averaged 13.7% below the levels observed in the preceding year, with sugar being the exception, experiencing a rise in prices. Notably, the FAO’s sugar price index declined by 16.6% in December compared to November, primarily influenced by robust production in Brazil and decreased utilization of sugarcane for ethanol production in India.

Cereal prices witnessed a 1.5% upswing in December from the previous month, attributed to increased prices of wheat, maize, rice, and barley due to disruptions in shipments from major exporting nations. However, for the entire year, cereal prices were 15.4% below their 2022 average, with the exception of rice, indicating a well-supplied market.

The most significant price declines were observed in vegetable oils, with the price index dropping by 1.4% in December from November and experiencing a substantial 32.7% decrease for the year as a whole. The FAO’s meat price index exhibited a 1.0% decline in December from November and a 1.8% year-on-year decrease. In contrast, the dairy price index rose by 1.6% month-on-month in December but remained down by 16.1% compared to the previous year.

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