Global Food Prices Still Near Record Highs in April, FAO Report Shows

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World food commodity prices decreased from March’s all-time high, but just slightly — down only 0.8%. That’s still up 29.8% than prices recorded in April 2021, as the Russia-Ukraine war continues to impact markets for staple grains and vegetable oils.

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The data referenced was provided by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on May 6.

“It’s really a minimal amount of decline,” Erin Collier, economist at the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, told Bloomberg. “Prices are still definitely very high and definitely still very much a concern, especially for low-income food-deficit countries.”

The drop in the FAO Food Price Index (FFPI) in April was led by a significant downturn in the vegetable oil sub-index, along with a slight decline in the cereal price sub-index — down 0.4% from the record high reached in March. Meanwhile, sugar, meat and dairy price sub-indices sustained moderate increases, according to the FAO.

“Continued blockage of ports in Ukraine and concerns over 2022 crop conditions in the United States of America kept prices elevated, but the price increases were moderated by larger shipments from India, higher-than expected exports from the Russian Federation, and slightly dampened global demand as a result of high prices,” the FAO said.

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The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index was down 5.7% from the record high registered in March, but remained markedly above its April 2021 level.

Meanwhile, the FAO Dairy Price Index was up 0.9% from March, marking the eighth consecutive monthly increase. The FAO Meat Price Index was also up 2.2% from March, setting a new record high.

“The continued price strength stemmed from higher world poultry, pig and bovine meat prices. The poultry meat price increase was driven by solid demand amidst tight global supplies, reflecting disruptions to exports from Ukraine and rising avian influenza outbreaks in the Northern hemisphere,” according to the FAO.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.

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