According to Reuters, the world price index of the United Nations food agency increased in April for the first time in a year but is still about 20% lower than the record high set in March 2022, after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Food and Agriculture Organization’s price index, which tracks globally traded food commodities, averaged 127.2 points last month, up from 126.5 in March.

The increase was due to higher prices for sugar, meat, and rice, which offset declines in the cereal, dairy, and vegetable oil indices.

FAO Chief Economist Maximo Torero said that as economies recover, demand for food will increase, leading to upward pressure on food prices.

The sugar price index rose 17.6% from March, while meat prices increased by 1.3%. On the other hand, dairy and vegetable oil prices fell by 1.7% and 1.3%, respectively, and the cereal index declined by 1.7%.

The FAO expressed concern about the increase in rice prices and the need to renew the Black Sea initiative to prevent further wheat and maize price spikes.

The FAO forecasted that world wheat production in 2023 would be 785 million tonnes, slightly below 2022 levels but still the second-largest on record.

The forecast for world cereal production in 2022 was raised to 2.785 billion tonnes from the previous 2.777 billion, down only 1.0% from the previous year.

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