Global food prices overall hold steady in November

The measure of changes in world food commodity prices remained largely steady in November, with declining international prices of cereals, meat and dairy products offsetting increasing quotations for vegetable oils and sugar, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reported Friday.

The FAO Food Price Index, which tracks monthly changes in the international prices of a basket of commonly-traded food commodities, averaged 135.7 points during the month of November, a fraction below its level in October. The Index is now only 0.3 percent higher than its level in November 2021.

The FAO Cereal Price Index declined by 1.3 percent from the previous month, but it was still up 6.3 percent from its value a year ago. World wheat and maize prices declined in November by 2.8 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively, partly influenced by the extension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative. By contrast, international rice prices moved up by 2.3 percent.

The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index increased by 2.3 percent in November, ending seven consecutive months of decline. International palm and soy oil prices rose, while those of rapeseed and sunflower oils dropped.

The FAO Dairy Price Index decreased by 1.2 percent since October, with world quotations for butter, skim and whole milk powders falling, amid lower import demand, while those for cheese increased, in part due to less buoyant export availabilities from leading producing countries in Western Europe.

The FAO Meat Price Index was 0.9 percent lower in November than the previous month, as international bovine meat prices fell, as increased export supplies from Australia added to already-high supplies from Brazil, notwithstanding China’s continuing strong import demand. By contrast, world prices of all other meat types rebounded, led by higher quotations for ovine meat.

The FAO Sugar Price Index rose 5.2 percent in November, influenced by strong buying amid tight global sugar supplies due to harvest delays in key producing countries and the announcement by India of a lower sugar export quota. Higher ethanol prices in Brazil also exerted upward pressure on world sugar prices.

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