The index of food prices of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAOfor its acronym in English) stagnated in September interrupting the descent which had started in March 2022, due to the increase in the cost of sugarwhose price is at its highest levels in the last thirteen years.
“The index averaged 121.5 points in September 2023, almost unchanged from its value in Augustsince the falls in the price indices of vegetable oils, dairy products and meat had offset the increases in the price indices of sugar and cereals,” the FAO explained in a statement this Friday.
This index refers to the prices of food raw materials in international markets, whose evolution differs from the price that consumers pay in the supermarket due to the intermediation of the rest of the members of the food chain and due to the circumstances of each country – such as climatic conditions, which this summer have determined the production of some countries-.
According to the FAO, food costs today 10.7% less than a year ago and 24% less than the historical maximum they reached in March of last year, when they began to decline until that cut came to a screeching halt this September; but given that the average price of the period 2014-2016 equivalent to 100 points, in September of this year a 21.5% rise compared to the value at that time. This evolution is far from what they have experienced in Spain the final prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages, which accumulate a 10.5% increase since March 2022, they are today 29.4% more expensive than before the pandemic broke out, in December 2019, and have accumulated an increase of around 39% from 2014-2016.
By type of food, the sugar reached its highest price in commodity markets since 2010 last month, after rising 9.8% compared to August. “The rise in prices was mainly due to growing concerns about a prospect of lower global supply in the 2023-2024 season,” explains the FAO, as investors fear a production contraction by the main sugar producers: Thailand and India, due to drier than normal weather conditions associated with the El Niño phenomenon, as the rise in oil prices also influences sugar.