World food prices dipped in May for a second consecutive month after hitting a record high in March, although the cost of cereals and meat both rose, the United Nations' food agency said on Friday.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation's (FAO) food price index, which tracks the most globally traded food commodities, averaged 157.4 points last month versus 158.3 for April.
The April figure was previously put at 158.5.
Despite the monthly decline, the May index was still 22.8% higher than a year earlier, pushed up in part by concerns over the impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Cereal Production To Drop
In separate cereal supply and demand estimates on Friday, the FAO said it expected global cereal production would drop in the 2022/23 season for the first time in four years, easing 16 million tonnes from record 2021 levels to 2.784 billion tonnes.
While the dairy, sugar and vegetable oil price indices all fell last month, the meat index edged up to hit an all-time high and the cereal index climbed 2.2%, with wheat posting a 5.6% month-on-month gain. Year-on-year, wheat prices were up 56.2%
FAO said wheat prices were shunted higher by India's announcement of an export ban, as well as reduced production prospects in Ukraine following the Russian invasion.
In a recent report, the FAO stressed the need to diversify the sourcing of certain food supplies, noting that countries heavily dependent on imports from Ukraine and Russia have had to deal with supply shocks.