Food Prices Inch Down, but Remain Far Above Historical Levels

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he United Nations said that global food prices declined for a sixth month in a row in September, after skyrocketing earlier this year, due to the Russian war in Ukraine.

Food inflation flared globally, as the war curbed grain supplies from the Black Sea region.

Prices improved somewhat over the summer, after a UN-brokered deal was struck between Russian and Ukraine to resume seaborne shipments, but negotiations to extend the crop export agreement beyond mid-November are still in question.

The October 7 report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said the drop was led by lower vegetable oil prices.

The FAO Food Price Index (complied by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization), a trade-weighted index that tracks international market prices of five major global food commodities, saw a decline of 1.1 percent from August.

Agricultural demand had eased after worries about an economic downturn, which may pose a threat to dairy sales and biofuel use.

Grain exports from Ukraine have since picked up after the war began, buffering world grain supplies that had been threatened by Russia’s invasion.

The food index fell to 136.3 points in September, versus a revised 137.9 for the previous month.

Although global food prices had fallen from it record-high of 159.7 in March, the September reading was still 5.5 percent higher year over year.

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