World food prices declined for the tenth consecutive month in January, with global oilseed values leading the way down.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations on Friday reported its benchmark food price index – which tracks monthly changes in the international prices of commonly-traded food commodities – averaged 131.2 points in January, down 0.8% from a month earlier and now almost 18% below the peak reached in March 2022 following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index fell by nearly 3% in January, as world prices of palm and soy oils dropped amid subdued global import demand. Meanwhile, sunflowerseed and rapeseed oil prices weakened amid “ample export availabilities.”
In contrast, the FAO Cereal Price Index was essentially unchanged (+0.1%) from December, although it remained 4.8% above its level of one year earlier. International wheat prices declined by 2.5% as production in Australia and the Russian Federation outpaced expectations. World corn prices rose marginally due to strong demand for exports from Brazil and concerns over dry conditions in Argentina. International rice prices, however, jumped by 6.2% from December, influenced by tighter availabilities, strong local demand in some Asian exporting countries, and exchange rate movements.
The Meat Price Index moved 0.1% lower in January, while the Dairy Price Index dropped 1.4%, and the Sugar Index fell 1.1%.