Serrari Group

The latest report from the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reveals a continued upward trend in world food prices for the second consecutive month. In April, the FAO’s price index, tracking key food commodities, edged slightly higher to an average of 119.1 points, up from March’s revised 118.8 points. However, this still represents a 7.4% decrease compared to the same period last year.

Meat prices saw the most significant increase in April, rising by 1.6% from the previous month. This uptick was driven by higher prices for poultry, beef, and sheep meat, partially offset by a slight decline in pork prices, notably affected by subdued demand in Western Europe and major importing countries like China.

Similarly, cereal prices saw a modest increase after three months of decline, buoyed by stronger export prices for maize (corn). Vegetable oil prices also saw a slight rise, reaching a 13-month high due to robust performances in sunflower and rapeseed oil markets.

Conversely, the sugar index experienced a notable drop of 4.4% from March levels, offering some relief amid improved global supply prospects. Dairy prices also saw a marginal decline, marking the end of six consecutive months of gains.

In terms of cereal supply and demand, the FAO adjusted its estimate for global cereal production in 2023/24, citing slight improvements primarily due to updated figures for key producers such as Myanmar and Pakistan.

Looking forward, concerns persist regarding the outlook for upcoming crops, particularly wheat. The FAO revised its forecast for global wheat output in 2024 downward, reflecting a larger-than-expected drop in wheat planting across the European Union. However, despite this adjustment, the projected output for 2024 remains marginally higher than the previous year.

As global food prices continue to fluctuate, stakeholders and policymakers face increasing pressure to implement effective measures to safeguard food security, particularly for the most vulnerable populations around the world.

photo source: Google

By: Montel Kamau

Serrari Financial Analyst

7th May, 2024

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