New record high for FAO Meat Price Index
April came with a mixed picture in the global food market, as the world food commodity prices decreased after a large jump the previous month, led by modest declines in the prices of vegetable oils and cereals, UN's FAO reported. However, despite the drop reported in vegetable oils and cereals, meat prices have reached a new record high, according to FAO.
The FAO Food Price Index averaged 158.5 points in April 2022, down 0.8% from the all-time high reached in March. The Index, which tracks monthly changes in the international prices of a basket of commonly-traded food commodities, remained 29.8% higher than in April 2021.
The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index decreased by 5.7% in April, shedding almost a third of the increase registered in March, as demand rationing pushed down prices for palm, sunflower and soy oils. Uncertainties about export availabilities out of Indonesia, the world’s leading palm oil exporter, contained further declines in international prices.
“The small decrease in the index is a welcome relief, particularly for low-income food-deficit countries, but still food prices remain close to their recent highs, reflecting persistent market tightness and posing a challenge to global food security for the most vulnerable,” said FAO Chief Economist Máximo Torero Cullen.
The FAO Cereal Price Index declined by 0.7 points in April, nudged down by a 3% decline in world maize prices. International wheat prices, strongly affected by continued blockage of ports in Ukraine and concerns over crop conditions in the United States of America but tempered by larger shipments from India and higher-than-expected exports from the Russian Federation, increased by 0.2%. International rice prices increased by 2.3% from their March levels, buoyed by strong demand from China and the Near East.
Meanwhile, the FAO Sugar Price Index increased by 3.3%, buoyed by higher ethanol prices and concerns over the slow start of the 2022 harvest in Brazil, the world’s largest sugar exporter.
The FAO Meat Price Index increased by 2.2% from the previous month, setting a new record high, as prices rose for poultry, big and bovine meat. Poultry meat prices were affected by disruptions to exports from Ukraine and rising avian influenza outbreaks in the Northern hemisphere. By contrast, ovine meat prices averaged marginally lower.
The FAO Meat Price Index averaged 121.9 points in April, up 2.7 points (2.2%) from March and 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. Meanwhile, pig meat prices rose further, although less steeply than in March, on the prolonged low supply of slaughter pigs in Western Europe and high internal demand in large producing countries. World bovine meat prices increased moderately, reflecting high export volumes from Brazil, despite the low slaughter cattle supply. With this increase, bovine meat prices reached a new record high. Regarding ovine meat, the pandemic-related lockdowns and port delays in China eased the country’s meat purchases, pushing prices marginally lower.
The FAO Dairy Price Index also was up, by 0.9%, on the back of persistent global supply tightness as milk output in Western Europe and Oceania continued to track below their seasonal levels. World butter prices rose the most, influenced by a surge in demand associated with the current shortage of sunflower oil and margarine.
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