Meat & Livestock News

Global Food Prices See Minor Ebb in October

Bangkok, Thailand March 12, 2023 Wheat grains with US dollar banknotes, trade export and economy concept.

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has noted a slight softening in global food prices amidst ongoing regional conflicts and prevailing high prices.

The FAO’s measure for global food commodity prices dipped slightly by 0.5% from September to October. This index, which gauges the monthly shifts in international prices for commonly traded food items, averaged 120.6 points in October, a decrease of 10.9% from its level a year prior.

Meat prices, as per the FAO Meat Price Index, dropped by 0.6% due to a slump in import demand, especially from East Asia, affecting pork prices. This was partially offset by small price rises in poultry, beef, and sheep meats.

In contrast, the FAO Dairy Price Index went up by 2.2% in October, marking an end to its nine-month downward trajectory. Prices for milk powders climbed, driven by robust import demand and uncertainties about the potential impact of El Niño on milk production in Oceania.

Despite the general downtrend in food prices, the FAO cautions that military conflicts are intensifying food insecurity issues, and the price drops are not fully beneficial due to the weak currencies in many poorer countries. The FAO’s report points out that 46 countries, with 33 in Africa, are in need of external food aid.

In the Gaza Strip, over half the population faced severe food insecurity in 2022, and the FAO anticipates that the ongoing conflict will heighten the need for emergency aid, although delivering this aid is problematic. The agency also suggests that the conflict could further impact food security in Lebanon.

The FAO expects a 0.9% rise in global cereal production in 2023 from the previous year, but this growth is anticipated to be slower in the 44 Low-Income Food Deficit Countries.