By Asmau Ahmad
The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has said international prices of globally-traded food commodities have been on the rise since last month.
Its Food Price Index, which tracks monthly changes, noted that international prices of globally-traded food commodities averaged 123.9 points in July, up 1.3 per cent from the previous month while 11.8 per cent below its July 2022 level.
The FAO All Rice Price Index increased by 2.8 per cent on the month and 19.7 per cent on the year to reach its highest nominal level since September 2011, as India’s July 20 prohibition of non-parboiled Indica exports fostered expectations of greater sales in other origins, amplifying upward pressure already exerted on prices by seasonally tighter supplies and Asian purchases.
This upward pressure of rice prices “raises substantial food security concerns for a large swathe of the world population, especially those that are most poor and who dedicate a larger share of their incomes to purchase food,” FAO warned.
She added that export restrictions can bear adverse consequences on production, consumption and prices that last beyond the duration of their implementation and risk exacerbating high food domestic inflation in many countries.
The FAO Dairy Price Index declined by 0.4 percent in July to stand 20.6 percent below its July 2022 value. World cheese prices recovered slightly after steep recent declines as hot weather affected seasonally declining milk supplies in Europe.
It added, however, that the falling international maize and sugar prices partly offset notable jumps in wheat and vegetable oil prices.
The FAO Meat Price Index declined 0.3 percent from June. Quotations for bovine, ovine and poultry meat declined on solid supply availabilities and in some cases lower demand from leading importers.
Pig meat prices, by contrast, rose, reflecting high seasonal demand coupled with ongoing tight supplies from Western Europe and the United States of America.