Blog Post

Cereal, Vegetable Oil Prices Reached Record High in 2022: FAO Food Price Index

The FAO Food Price Index continued its nine-month decline in December 2022, falling by an additional 1.9 percent. The decline was driven mostly by falling vegetable oil, cereal, and meat prices. However, overall in 2022, the Index was over 14 percent higher than its 2021 level, reflecting continued high prices driven by conflict, climate, and market concerns.

The Cereal Price Index for December fell by 1.9 percent due to adequate supplies and strong export competition from South America for both wheat and maize. Rice prices continued to see the opposite trend, rising in December due to currency appreciation against the U.S. dollar in key Asian exporting countries. In 2022, the Cereal Price Index rose almost 18 percent to reach a record high; wheat and maize prices also saw record highs, rising by 15.6 and 24.8 percent, respectively.

The Vegetable Oil Price Index fell by 6.7 percent in December, reaching the lowest point seen since February 2021. Soybean oil prices in particular plummeted due to anticipated seasonal production increases in South America. Lower crude oil prices also played a role in depressing vegetable oil prices in December. For the year as a whole, the Vegetable Oil Price Index rose by almost 14 percent from 2021 and, like the Cereal Price Index, reached an all-time high.

The Meat Price Index declined by 1.2 percent in December, while the Dairy Price Index and Sugar Price Index rose by 1.1 and 2.4 percent, respectively. All three indices reached the highest annual average seen in at least a decade in 2022. Meat prices overall were over 10 percent higher than in 2021, while dairy prices rose almost 20 percent and sugar prices increased by 4.7 percent.

Remember to monitor the latest international commodity prices and food price volatility levels on the Food Security Portal’s Commodities page.