ROME, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) — Global food prices edged down in August, despite rising energy and transport costs and supply chain disruptions, the United Nations reported on Friday. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) based in Rome.

Meanwhile, the long-term outlook for the global food situation remains negative due to a combination of cost, logistical and environmental factors, FAO added.

The FAO’s overall monthly food price index fell 1.9 percent in August from July, a more modest decline than a month earlier, when it fell 8.6 percent .

It is the fifth month in a row that the index has contracted, although it remains 7.9% above its levels of a year ago, according to the report.

The declines come despite an overall price increase in several major economies.

Earlier this week, the European Union announced that prices in August were 9.1% higher than a year earlier, a record for the euro zone.

The United States has yet to release August inflation figures, but it reported last month that prices rose 8.5% on the year in July.

The index’s largest component, grains and cereals, saw a 1.4% drop in prices, building on an 11.5% drop a month earlier after grain exports resumed from Ukraine.

The FAO said the main factors behind the drop in August were prospects for a strong harvest in Canada, Russia and the United States, and continued but limited exports from Ukraine despite the ongoing conflict in that country. country.

Despite back-to-back declines, the grain price index was still 11.4% above its value in August 2021.

The vegetable oils sub-index was down 3.3% month-on-month, driven in part by lower palm oil prices; dairy prices were 2.0% lower as strong New Zealand production helped keep inventories full.

Meat prices fell 1.5% due to weaker domestic demand in some key producing countries, while sugar prices fell 2.1% mainly due to higher exports from China. ‘India.

However, the long-term outlook for food prices remains bleak, in part due to high fuel, transport and fertilizer prices.

Heat waves like the ones that hit China, much of Europe and the western United States are expected to become more intense and frequent in coming years, climate experts say.

Another important factor is rising levels of food waste around the world, according to the World Bank, while media speculation also points to too much power in the hands of too few private food companies creating inefficiencies in the food system. global.

According to UN estimates, food prices could rise an additional 8.5% from current levels by 2027.

The FAO Food Price Index is based on world prices of 23 food categories covering the prices of 73 different products compared to a reference year.

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