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692. December 2022 World Food Price Index 

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On January 6, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) released its latest World Food Price Index, which averaged 132.4 points in December 2022, the ninth consecutive monthly decline and 1.3 points (1.0%) lower than a year ago. The decline in December reflected the large drop in international prices of vegetable oils as well as lower cereal and meat prices, which were partially offset by moderate increases in sugar and dairy prices. Overall, however, the food price index in 2022 averaged 143.7 points, 18 points or 14.3% higher than in 2021.

Cereal prices reached 147.3 points in December, which is 2.9 points (1.9%) lower than in November but 6.8 points (4.8%) higher than in December of last year. International wheat prices fell due to supply from the southern hemisphere and competition among exporting countries. International maize prices were driven lower by competition from Brazil, despite concerns about drought in Argentina. In contrast, international rice prices rose due to purchases from Asia and the appreciation of currencies against the US dollar in several exporting countries. For 2022, the cereal price index was 154.7 points, 23.5 points (17.9%) higher than in 2021 and 12.6 points (12.6%) above the record set during the 2011 food price spike. A combination of factors are contributing to higher cereal price indexes in 2022, including market disruptions, increased uncertainties, higher energy and input costs, adverse weather conditions in key supplier countries, and robust global food demand.

The vegetable oil price index fell 10.3 points, or 6.7%, to 144.4 points in December from November, the lowest since February 2021.The December decline reflects lower international prices for palm, soy, rapeseed and sunflower oils. Palm oil prices were down 5% from the previous month's recovery trend, following a drop in world demand despite heavy rains in key exporting countries. Soy oil prices fell sharply in response to the expected harvest in South America. Rapeseed and sunflower oil prices also fell due to a drop in import demand in response to excess supply. The decline in crude oil prices also exerted downward pressure. On average, vegetable oil prices in 2022 were 22.9 points (13.9%) higher than the previous year at 187.8 points, a record high on an annual basis.

Contributor: IIYAMA Miyuki (Information Program)


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