World food prices fell for a ninth month in a row in December, though they hit their highest level on record for the full year in 2022, UN data showed Friday.
Food prices soared to a monthly record high in March after Russia invaded agricultural powerhouse Ukraine, a major supplier of wheat and cooking oil to the world.
A Russian naval blockade that prevented Ukrainian grain exports was lifted following a deal in July that was brokered by Turkey and the United Nations.
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The Food and Agriculture Organization said Friday its price index, which tracks the monthly change in international prices of a basket of food commodities, fell to 132.4 points in December, a 1.9 percent drop from November.
It was also one percent lower than in December 2021.
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But the index was 14.3 percent higher overall in 2022 compared to the previous year as it reached an all-time high of 143.7 points.
“Calmer food commodity prices are welcome after two very volatile years,” FAO chief economist Maximo Torero said in a statement.
“It is important to remain vigilant and keep a strong focus on mitigating global food insecurity given that world food prices remain at elevated levels,” he said.
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Torero said many staples are near record highs, with prices of rice rising and “still many risks associated with future supplies”.
© Agence France-Presse