UN / FOOD PRICE INDEX

08-Apr-2022 00:03:24
World food commodity prices made a significant leap in March to reach their highest levels ever, as war in the Black Sea region spread shocks through markets for staple grains and vegetable oils, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reported. UNIFEED
Size
Format
Acquire
N/A
Hi-Res formats
DESCRIPTION
STORY: UN / FOOD PRICE INDEX
TRT: 3:24
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 08 APRIL 2022, NEW YORK CITY / FILE
SHOTLIST
RECENT – NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, press briefing room
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Boubaker Ben Belhassen, Director, Trade and Markets Division, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO):
“In March, the Food Price Index registered a 1.6 percent increase from February reaching an all-time high. The series goes back to 1990. All sub-indices for the different community groups registered a significant increases with the sub-indices for vegetable oil, cereal and meat also reaching new all-time high.”
3. Wide shot, press briefing room
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Boubaker Ben Belhassen, Director, Trade and Markets Division, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO):
“To say that international food commodity prices are soaring due to a combination of factors. These include adverse weather, higher energy prices or transportation costs, higher fertilizer prices and strong international demand. As I said, these have driven prices already before the war in Ukraine. Disruption to exports due to the conflict in Ukraine has exacerbated the already difficult situation putting further upward pressure on prices. Soaring food prices erode food affordability and can have serious consequences for food security and nutrition, especially in low income food deficit countries, keeping in mind that countries are still struggling with the impacts of COVID 19.”
5. Wide shot, press briefing room
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Boubaker Ben Belhassen, Director, Trade and Markets Division, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO):
“Now talking about the cereal crisis, and some index increases by 17.1 percent in March compared to its value in February. International prices of cereal were largely driven by conflict related export disruption in Ukraine and the Russian Federation. Over crop conditions, in particularly the US also added support, which grow wheat prices sharply in March increasing by 19.7 percent.”
7. Wide shot, press briefing room
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Boubaker Ben Belhassen, Director, Trade and Markets Division, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO):
“Significant reduces maize export expectation for Ukraine on top of elevated energy and again19.1 percent increase in world’s mazie price month-on-month. On a more positive note, rice prices are changing from their February levels, still 10 per cent below the levels a year ago.”
9. Wide shot, press briefing room
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Boubaker Ben Belhassen, Director, Trade and Markets Division, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO):


“Now turning to vegetable oils, prices of vegetable oils in March also made a giant leap soaring by 23.2 percent in just one month. Sunflower seed oil prices increased substantially. You will reduce the export supply from the Black Sea Region. Barley, soy and grapeseed oil price also rose dramatically by rising global equal demand in the wake of the sunflower oil supply disruption. Oil prices received additional support from lingering supply tightness in major producing countries while soy prices were ended by conservative over reducing exports availability in South America.”
STORYLINE
World food commodity prices made a significant leap in March to reach their highest levels ever, as war in the Black Sea region spread shocks through markets for staple grains and vegetable oils, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reported.
Boubaker Ben Belhassen, Director, of FAO’s Trade and Markets Division spoke to reporters via a video link from Rome today (08 Apr).

The FAO Food Price Index averaged 159.3 points in March, up 12.6 percent from February when it had already reached its highest level since its inception in 1990. The Index tracks monthly changes in the international prices of a basket of commonly-traded food commodities. The latest level of the index was 33.6 percent higher than in March 2021.
The FAO Cereal Price Index was 17.1 percent higher in March than in February, driven by large rises in wheat and all coarse grain prices largely as a result of the war in Ukraine. The Russian Federation and Ukraine, combined, accounted for around 30 percent and 20 percent of global wheat and maize exports, respectively, over the past three years. World wheat prices soared by 19.7 percent during the month, exacerbated by concerns over crop conditions in the United States of America. Meanwhile, maize prices posted a 19.1 percent month-on-month increase, hitting a record high along with those of barley and sorghum. Contrasting trends across the various origins and qualities kept the March value of FAO’s Rice Price Index little changed from February, and thus still 10 percent below its level of a year earlier.
The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index rose 23.2 percent, driven by higher quotations for sunflower seed oil, of which Ukraine is the world’s leading exporter. Palm, soy and rapeseed oil prices also rose markedly as a result of the higher sunflower seed oil prices and the rising crude oil prices, with soy oil prices further underpinned by concerns over reduced exports by South America.
The FAO Sugar Price Index rose 6.7 percent from February, reversing recent declines to reach a level more than 20 percent higher than in March 2021. Higher crude oil prices were a driving factor, along with currency appreciation of the Brazilian Real, while favorable production prospects in India prevented larger monthly price increases.
The FAO Meat Price Index increased by 4.8 percent in March to reach an all-time high, led by surging pig meat prices related to a shortfall of slaughter pigs in Western Europe. International poultry prices also firmed in step with reduced supplies from leading exporting countries following avian flu outbreaks.
The FAO Dairy Price Index rose 2.6 percent and was 23.6 percent higher than in March 2021, as quotations for butter and milk powders rose steeply amid a surge in import demand for near and long-term deliveries, especially from Asian markets.
Further details are available here.
Updated forecasts for cereals
FAO also released its new Cereal Supply and Demand Brief, which includes a forecast for global wheat production in 2022 of 784 million tonnes, a 1.1 percent increase from 2021. That estimate factors in expectations that at least 20 percent of Ukraine’s planted area to winter crops, notably winter wheat, may not be harvested due to direct destruction, constrained access or a lack of resources to harvest crops, reports from Russia of continued conducive weather conditions, as well as prospective production trends in China, the European Union, India, North America and elsewhere. Coarse grain production prospects remain favorable in Argentina, Brazil and South Africa.
Wrapping up the 2021 crop year, FAO’s estimate points to a worldwide cereal production of 2 799 million tonnes, up slightly from 2020, with rice production reaching an all-time high of 520.3 million tonnes (in milled equivalent).
Global cereal utilization in 2021/22 is projected at 2 789 million tonnes, including a record level for rice, with increases also expected for maize and wheat.
Global cereal stocks ending in 2022 are forecast to rise by 2.4 percent from their opening levels, largely due to higher wheat and maize stocks in Russia and Ukraine on account of lower expected exports. The global cereal stocks-to-use ratio is forecast at 29.7 percent in 2021/22, only marginally below the previous year and “still indicating a relatively comfortable supply level,” according to FAO.
FAO lowered its forecast for world trade in cereals in the current marketing year to 469 million tonnes, marking a contraction from the 2020/21 level, largely due to the war in Ukraine and based on currently available information. Expectations point to the European Union and India increasing wheat exports, while Argentina, India and the U.S. shipping more maize, partially compensating for the loss of exports from the Black Sea region.
Category
Source
Alternate Title
unifeed220408c