In 2023, the FAO Food Price Index stood nearly 14 percent below its 2022 value, according to the report’s January edition. The December Index also declined month-on-month from November, falling 1.5 percent due to declining sugar, vegetable oil, and meat prices.
The Cereal Price Index rose slightly in December but remained nearly 17 percent below its December 2022 level. Wheat and maize prices both rose due to trade constraints and production concerns, while rice prices increased due to the impact of India’s continued export restrictions and reduced production for export in Vietnam. In 2023, rice prices rose by 21 percent overall. As a whole, however, the Cereal Price Index declined in 2023 by 15.4 percent.
The Vegetable Oil Price Index declined by 1.4 in December, reflecting lower month-on-month prices across the board for palm, soy, rapeseed, and sunflower seed oils. Soy oil prices fell most significantly, declining by more than 3 percent from November. This decline stemmed from slowing demand from the biofuel industry and better weather and production prospects in Brazil. In 2023, the Vegetable Oil Price Index fell by 32.7 percent from 2022 to reach a three-year low.
The Meat and Sugar Price Indices both declined in December, by 1 percent and 16.6 percent, respectively. Annual values for the Meat Price Index fell by 4.2 percent but rose for the Sugar Price Index by 26.7 percent from 2022. The Dairy Price Index rose in December by 1.6 percent but declined overall in 2023 by 16.6 percent.
Sara Gustafson is a freelance communications consultant.