The surge in agricultural product prices is indeed stalling. The prices of basic foodstuffs fell for the second consecutive month , after a whole year of continuous rise. In July the index of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) stood at 76 points against 124, 6 the previous month, thus reducing the average consumer bill of 1.2%.

The fall in the prices of cereals and vegetable oils has made it possible to offset the rise in the prices of meat and sugar, explains the FAO. Maize yields in Argentina are better than expected, and crop prospects in the United States have also improved. On the Chicago futures market, the bushel of corn (approximately 10 kg) has also fallen by nearly 30% since a peak last May at 7, 53 dollars.

Acceleration of the decline in rice But for several weeks, the cereal has been stagnating around 5, 50 dollars “because of persistent concerns about the state of crops in Brazil,” says the FAO. “Threshing continues at a much slower pace than last year and high domestic prices have encouraged farmers to sell directly to local markets,” the agency adds.

Regarding wheat, prices tend to appreciate (+ 1.8%) under the effect of persistent droughts in the United States and heavy rains in Europe which considerably complicate the harvests. The situation in Russia, the world’s largest exporter, is no better: the first recorded returns are disappointing. The analysis firm SovEcon thus lowered its harvest expectations from 6 million tonnes to 53, 4 million, ” in the lower end of the forecast range “, analysts at Commerzbank say.

As for rice, a staple food for nearly 3 billion human beings, prices have accelerated their decline to reach their lowest level for two years: the arrival of new abundant harvests has calmed down the market under strain due high freight costs and logistical difficulties related to the lack of containers.

Fall of soybean oil Palm oil – widely consumed in Asia – has certainly reached records, but other vegetable oils have seen their prices decline. This is the case with soybean oil “due in particular to a lower rate of incorporation of biodiesel in Argentina,” explains the international agency. At the same time, international prices for rapeseed and sunflower oil also contracted, affected, respectively, by weak global import demand and the prospect of a record level of supplies for the season. 2021 – 2021 ”.

In May, the FAO index had climbed to the highest since 10 years to come close to the historical record of 2011. The surge in commodity prices has awakened the specter of a new food crisis comparable to those of 698 or 2011. The rise in prices is all the stronger as it occurs in the midst of an economic crisis that has led to an overall drop in income, especially in the poorest countries. “Food prices, in themselves, are not the main source of concern, nuance Abdolreza Abbassian, senior economist at the agency. Access to food in poor countries and the uncertainties surrounding the pandemic are more worrying. ”

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