[Press Release] International quotations for all major cereals decline, but high domestic food prices threaten vulnerable countries


Rome – The benchmark index of international food commodity prices declined again in June, led by price decreases for all major cereals and most types of vegetable oils, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reported today.

The FAO Food Price Index, which tracks monthly changes in the international prices of commonly-traded food commodities, averaged 122.3 points in June, down 1.4 percent from May and 23.4 percent from its peak in March 2022.

The FAO Cereal Price Index declined 2.1 percent from May. International coarse grain quotations in June decreased by 3.4 percent, driven mostly by increased maize supplies from ongoing harvests in Argentina and Brazil and improved output prospects in key producing areas of the United States of America. International wheat prices dropped by 1.3 percent, as harvests began in the Northern Hemisphere, influenced by ample supplies and a lower export tax in the Russian Federation, along with improved conditions in the U.S. International rice prices declined by 1.2 percent amid subdued demand for non-Indica varieties and efforts by Pakistan to attract export sales.

The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index declined by 2.4 percent from May, as lower world prices of palm and sunflower oils more than offset increases in quotations for soy and rapeseed oil, influenced by weather conditions in major growing regions.

The FAO Dairy Price Index declined by 0.8 percent in June, led by lower international cheese prices, even as world butter prices rose, driven by active demand for spot supplies, mainly from the Middle East.

The FAO Sugar Price Index declined by 3.2 percent, its first drop after four consecutive monthly increases, mainly triggered by good progress of the sugarcane harvest in Brazil and sluggish global import demand, particularly from China.

The FAO Meat Price Index was virtually unchanged in June, with poultry meat prices rising on the back of high import demand from East Asia amid ongoing supply challenges linked to the widespread avian influenza outbreaks. International pig meat prices also rose, while those of bovine and ovine meats dipped due to increased exportable availabilities from Oceania.
More details are available here.

Cereal production projected to reach record high

World cereal production is predicted to hit a record high in 2023/24, according to the latest Cereal Supply and Demand Brief, also released today.

FAO raised its 2023 global cereal production forecast to 2 819 million tonnes, indicating a 1.1 percent increase from the previous year.

The higher forecast almost entirely reflects better prospects for global wheat production, now pegged at 783.3 million tonnes, buoyed by improved outlooks in several countries, including Canada, Kazakhstan and Türkiye. However, global wheat production is still seen falling below last season’s output by 2.3 percent,

Global coarse grain output for the year is now forecast to grow by 2.9 percent from 2022 to 1 512 million tonnes. Likewise, world rice production in 2023/24 is expected to rise by 1.2 percent above the 2022/23 reduced level, to 523.7 million tonnes.

World cereal utilization in the season ahead is expected to expand by 0.9 percent to 2 805 million tonnes, led by expected increased use of coarse grains, especially of maize for animal feed.

FAO raised its forecast for world cereal stocks by the close of 2023/24 seasons to 878 million tonnes, some 2.3 percent higher from the previous season. At this level, the global cereal stocks-to-use ratio would remain unchanged at 30.6 percent, “indicating comfortable supply prospects in the new season.”

FAO’s latest forecast for world trade in cereals in 2023/24 points to a likely 0.9-percent contraction from 2022/23, with volumes of wheat seen declining from record levels.

More details available here.

High food prices worsen food situation in vulnerable countries

High food prices, economic downturns, conflict, droughts and the impending risk of El Niño weather patterns in several regions are aggravating food security concerns in many parts of the world. A total of 45 countries around the world are assessed to need external assistance for food, according to the latest Crop Prospects and Food Situation report, a quarterly publication by FAO’s Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS), also published today.

High domestic food prices, a measure divergent from the FAO Food Price Index, are a driver of worrying levels of hunger in most of the 45 countries, 33 of which are located in Africa, 9 in Asia, and also Haiti, Ukraine and Venezuela.

While world cereal production is forecast to expand by 1.1 percent in 2023 from the year before, it is predicted to contract in the group of 44 Low Income Food Deficit Countries (LIFDCs), pushing up import needs, the report said.

The quarterly report offers detailed information about food insecurity and price trends people face on the ground in the affected countries. It also provides a detailed assessment of regional production and trade prospects around the world.

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  1. L C Matthew
    July 7, 2023

    Dominica have enough land grow its own food. Our grandparents lived longer than us on backyard gardening, farming and in-house processing. The commercialization and marketing of those industrialized processed goods has cause dependency control and frankly cause of problem. People need to go back to the self sustainable ways. No one in Dominica should be hungry with sea river and arable Land readily available.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0
    • MEME
      July 7, 2023

      @L C Matthew
      Good point made about Dominica, but remember agriculture was placed on the back burner by this administration for years and years!! It would be good to see the DOLLAR contribution of agriculture to our economy over the past 5 to 10 years. You mentioned back yard gardening? A salient point, but even that aspect seem to be one of the past! We need a long and sustained educational process aimed at reverting us back to the soil, and to instil in all, the importance of agriculture and also manufacturing. Even our school syllabus needs to change to reflect that!.
      I was also surprised that a country like Venezuela is being blighted with so much hunger. The country is large, it is teeming with resources and arable land..It surely can do better. But that’s where leadership comes in though!

    • Really
      July 7, 2023

      You .us also remember that the population was much smaller also.

      • true
        July 10, 2023

        And diet was much different. I heard from some elderly people that Hurricane David was a big part of what changed the country’s diet as local crops were wiped out and everyone had to depend on prepackaged rations of processed goods which is what most people consume today (canned foods, rice, flour, sugar, oil etc). We probably still consumed a lot of those things before then but in much lower quantities. Now the diet of the average dominican is heavily dependent on imported goods and it would be a monumental task to revert that

      • L C Matthew
        July 10, 2023

        Dominica population has not changed that much in 40 years. As a matter of fact a bit less now due to migration and lower birth rate. Average family in the communities was mom and dad plus 10 kids. My generation 4 to 6 kids. Today that is seen as large family. The new census should have been out. These statistics are good for making sound decisions.

    • Petes
      July 8, 2023

      Only the Lebanese that laughing and living healthy.

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