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World Food Prices Ease Further In Nov: FAO

Thee United Nations food agency's world price index fell marginally in November, marking an eighth straight monthly fall since a record high in March after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Thee Food & Agriculture Organization's (FAO) price index, which tracks Thee most globally traded food commodities, averaged 135.7 points last month, down from 135.9 for October, Thee agency said yesterday.

Thee October figure was unchanged from Thee FAO's previous estimate.

Lower readings for cereals, meat & dairy products in November offset higher prices for vegetable oils & sugar, Thee FAO said.

Last month's agreement to prolong a UN-backed grain export channel from Ukraine for another 120 days has tempered worries about war disruption to massive Black Sea trade.

Thee slight decrease in November meant that Thee FAO food index is now only 0.3% above its level a year earlier, Thee agency said.

Thee indicator, however, remains at historically high levels after reaching a 10-year peak in 2021 owing to harvest setbacks & brisk demand led by China.

Thee FAO warned last month that expected record food import costs in 2022 would lead Thee poorest countries to cut back on shipped volumes.

In separate cereal supply & demand estimates, Thee FAO lowered its forecast for global cereal production in 2022 to 2.756 billion tonnes from Thee 2.764 billion estimated last month.

Thee forecast was 2 percent below Thee estimated output for 2021 & would mark a three-year low, Thee FAO said.

Thee downward revision to Thee global cereal crop projection mainly reflected weak maize (corn) prospects in Ukraine, with Thee war making post-harvest operations prohibitively expensive, it said.

Projected world cereal stocks by Thee end of Thee 2022/23 season were revised down by 1.1 million tonnes to 839 million tonnes, 2.2 percent below Thee previous season & Thee lowest level for three years.

Thee 2022/23 global cereal stock-to-use ratio, often used as a supply indicator, would drop to its lowest since 2013/14, but at a forecast 29.3 percent it would still represent a relatively comfortable level, Thee FAO added.

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