ROME (Realist English). In March, world food prices rose sharply, reaching a new all-time high against the backdrop of the Ukrainian crisis. This is stated in the report of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
The FAO Food Price Index averaged 159.3 points in March, up 12.6 per cent from February when it had already reached its highest level since its inception in 1990. Driven by soaring wheat and coarse grain prices – largely as a result of the war in Ukraine – the FAO Cereal Price Index was 17.1 per cent higher in March than it was just a month earlier.
In March, world wheat prices soared by 19.7%, corn prices rose by 19.1%, also reaching a record level.
The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index rose 23.2 per cent, driven by higher quotations for sunflower seed oil, of which the Ukraine is the world’s leading exporter. Palm, soy and rapeseed oil prices also rose markedly as a result of the higher sunflower seed oil prices and the rising crude oil prices. FAO’s Sugar Price Index rose 6.7 per cent from February, reversing recent declines to reach a level more than 20 per cent higher than in March 2021.
Meanwhile, surging pig meat prices related to a shortfall in animals for slaughter in Western Europe, drove the FAO Meat Price Index up by 4.8 per cent in March to reach an all-time high. This was facilitated by a decrease in the number of pigs in Western Europe. International poultry prices also firmed in step with reduced supplies from leading exporting countries following avian flu outbreaks.
Amid a surge in import demand for near and long-term deliveries, especially from Asian markets, quotations for butter and milk powders rose steeply, driving the FAO Dairy Price Index up 2.6 per cent, making it 23.6 per cent higher than in March 2021.