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Food prices hit record high in March, says UN agency


Food prices hit record high in March, says UN agency

FILE PHOTO: Full cabinets with fruits are pictured in a grocery store through the unfold of the coronavirus illness (COVID-19) in Berlin, Germany, March 17, 2020. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

PARIS — World meals prices jumped almost 13% in March to a brand new record high because the battle in Ukraine brought on turmoil in markets for staple grains and edible oils, the U.N. meals agency mentioned on Friday.

The Food and Agriculture Group’s (FAO) meals value index, which tracks probably the most globally traded meals commodities, averaged 159.3 factors final month versus an upwardly revised 141.4 for February.

The February determine was beforehand put at 140.7, which was a record on the time.

Russia and Ukraine are main exporters of wheat, corn, barley, and sunflower oil through the Black Sea, and Moscow’s six-week-old invasion of its neighbor has stalled Ukrainian exports.

The FAO final month mentioned meals and feed prices might rise by as much as 20% on account of the battle in Ukraine, elevating the chance of elevated malnutrition.

The agency’s cereal value index climbed 17% in March to a record stage whereas its vegetable oil index surged 23%, additionally registering its highest studying but, FAO mentioned.

Disruption to provides of crops from the Black Sea area has exacerbated value rises in meals commodities, which have been already operating at 10-year highs in the FAO’s index earlier than the battle in Ukraine as a result of international harvest points.

Sugar and dairy prices additionally rose sharply final month, the FAO mentioned.

In separate cereal provide and demand estimates on Friday, the FAO minimize its projection of world wheat manufacturing in 2022 to 784 million tonnes, from 790 million final month, because it factored in the chance that no less than 20% of Ukraine’s winter crop space wouldn’t be harvested.

The revised international wheat output estimate was nonetheless 1% above the earlier yr’s stage, it mentioned.

The agency lowered its projection of worldwide cereals commerce in the 2021/22 advertising yr as elevated exports from Argentina, India, the European Union, and the USA have been anticipated to solely offset among the disruptions to Black Sea exports.

Whole cereal commerce in 2021/22 was revised down by 14.6 million tonnes from the earlier month-to-month outlook to 469 million tonnes, now 2% under the 2020/21 stage.

Projected world cereal shares on the finish of 2021/22 have been revised up by 15 million tonnes to almost 851 million tonnes, primarily due to expectations that export disruption will result in greater stockpiles in Ukraine and Russia, the FAO added.

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