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World News April 8, 2024

World food prices rise for first time in 7 months: FAO

In March, global food prices saw their first increase in seven months, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The rise was driven by a notable surge in vegetable oil prices, leading to a 1.1 percent increase in the FAO’s broad Food Price Index compared to February.

Despite the uptick, the overall index remained 7.7 percent lower than March 2023 levels. Vegetable oil prices climbed by 8.0 percent, propelled by reduced output from Southeast Asia affecting palm oil prices, as well as increased demand from the biofuel sector in Brazil and the United States, which impacted soy oil prices. Sunflower and rapeseed oil prices also saw increases.

Dairy product prices experienced a 2.9 percent rise due to heightened demand for cheese and butter. Wheat prices increased by 1.7 percent, influencing rises in poultry, pig, and bovine meat prices.

Conversely, the index saw declines in other areas, notably a 2.6 percent drop in grain and cereal prices, which comprise the largest component of the index. This decline was attributed to reduced wheat demand from China and robust production in the European Union, Russia, and the United States. Rice prices also decreased due to weakened demand, while corn prices increased due to logistical challenges related to the situation in Ukraine.

The sugar sub-index decreased by 5.4 percent, supported by optimistic production forecasts from India and Thailand.

Source – CGTN

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