The United Nations food agency’s global price index fell again in July after hitting a record high in March.
The Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) price index, which records the monthly variation in international prices of a ‘basket’ of staple foods, averaged 140.9 points last month against a revised reading of 154.3 points in June. The previous price for June was 154.2 points.
The index for July is still 13.1% higher than a year ago, as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, adverse weather conditions and high production and transportation costs.
“The reduction in food prices from very high levels is welcome, but many uncertainties remain,” said FAO chief economist Massimo Torero.
A bleak global economic outlook, currency instability and high fertilizer prices — which may affect farmers’ production and livelihoods in the future — are putting serious pressure on global food security, it said.
Price indexes for vegetable oils, sugar, dairy products and grains all fell on a monthly basis in July, with the price of wheat falling 14.5%, partly due to an agreement reached between Ukraine, Russia , Turkey and the United Nations for the resumption of grain exports from Black Sea ports.
The corn price index fell 10.7 percent in July, also partly due to the Russia-Ukraine deal as well as increased seasonal availability from major producers such as Argentina and Brazil, the FAO said.
Three ships carrying a total of 58,041 tonnes of corn were cleared to depart from Ukrainian ports today, the agency making arrangements for the operation said. A first ship carrying Ukrainian grain sailed from Odessa on Monday.