The United Nations food agency's world price index fell in January to its lowest level in nearly three years, driven by declines in cereals and meat.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation's (FAO) price index, which tracks the most globally traded food commodities, averaged 118.0 points in January, down from 119.1 the previous month, the agency said.
The January reading was the lowest since February 2021.
'Global wheat export prices declined in January driven by strong competition among exporters and the arrival of recently harvested supplies in the southern hemisphere countries,' the FAO said in its monthly update.
The FAO also said maize (corn) prices fell sharply, reflecting improved crop conditions and the start of the harvest in Argentina and larger supplies in the United States.
The meat price index declined for the seventh consecutive month as abundant supplies from leading exporting countries drove down international prices of poultry, bovine and pig meats, the FAO said.
Cereal Production On Track
In a separate report, the FAO said world cereal production in 2023 was on track to hit an all-time record high of 2.836 billion metric tonnes – up 1.2% from 2022.
Global coarse grain output was pegged at an all-time high of 1.523 billion tonnes, following a 12-million-tonnes upward adjustment this month.
'The bulk of the revision reflects new official data from Canada, China (mainland), Turkey and the US, where a combination of higher yields and larger harvested areas than previously expected has led to higher maize (corn) production estimates,' the FAO said.
Elsewhere, British food and drink prices will continue to rise in 2024, contributing to an extended cost-of-living crisis, the Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD) said.