The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization said Friday that world food prices went down in 2023. Grain and oil prices went down the most as worries about supply eased. The Rome-based FAO said that the prices of food commodities around the world fell 13.7% in 2023 compared to the previous year.
The FAO’s cereals price index dropped 15.4% last year, which “reflected well-supplied global markets.” This is in contrast to 2022, when prices went through the roof after Russia invaded Ukraine, a major producer of grains. worries about wheat and corn supplies got better, but worries about rice supplies got worse because of El Nino and India’s decision to limit exports. Last year, the price of rice went up by 21%.
Last year, the vegetable oil price index dropped the most, by 32.7%. This was because stocks got better and less oil was used to make biofuels. On the other hand, sugar prices rose 26.7% total last year, though they fell from their peak in December because Brazil increased exports and cut back on biofuel use.
Food prices are going up a lot in many countries, often much faster than the general inflation rate, even though the FAO’s overall index went down. The FAO’s index tracks the prices of commodities on the market. It takes a little longer for consumer prices to be reflected, since they are also affected by the cost of labor and energy used during processing and distribution.