FAO reports a rise in worldwide food prices for the first time in seven months

FAO reports a rise in worldwide food prices for the first time in seven months
Food prices

In March, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced an increase in global food prices, marking the first rise since July, on Friday.
For March 2024, the FAO's Food Price Index rose by 1.1 percent from the previous month to 118.3 points, showing a 7.7 percent decrease when compared to the same timeframe the previous year.
The surge in food prices to unprecedented levels occurred after the invasion of Ukraine by Russia in February 2022, followed by a subsequent decline.
According to the FAO, the uptick was primarily driven by the price of vegetable oil, in spite of the continuous decrease in the cost of grains.
There was an 8 percent surge in the sub-index for vegetable oils during the month, reaching a peak not seen in the past year. The FAO highlighted that prices for palm, soybeans, sunflower, and rapeseed oil all experienced rises. The growth in palm oil prices was attributed to a seasonal decline in output from the major production countries, coinciding with a significant demand in Southeast Asia. Additionally, the biofuel sector's demand contributed to the surge in soy oil prices.
Prices for dairy products increased by 2.9 percent and meat prices by 1.7 percent in March compared to the previous month. On the other hand, the cost of grains fell by 2.6 percent, and sugar prices decreased by 5.4 percent over the same period.
The news of the rise in the previous month was reported amid a dramatic slowdown in inflation across numerous countries. Nevertheless, the recent uptick in global oil prices has raised fears that inflation may stay at a level that could discourage central banks from reducing interest rates.