World food prices in February fell 0.6 percent from January and were also down 18.7 percent from their peak in March, the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) said Friday.
The agency said the decline in the FAO Food Price Index reflected lower prices for vegetable oils and dairy products that more than offset sharply higher sugar prices.
“International rice prices eased by 1.0 percent due to a slowdown in trading activities in most major Asian exporters,” a statement said.
In its monthly cereal brief, also released Friday, the FAO raised its global forecast for rice output this calendar year by 4.9 million tonnes to 517 million tonnes — 1.5 percent below the record high in 2021 but still above average.
The FAO said expectations for a decline in India’s rice output had been reversed by assessments of a "more contained impact" of uneven monsoon rains and a "pronounced increase" in secondary crop plantings that have just concluded.
"Output was also upgraded for several other countries, most notably Sri Lanka and Thailand,” it said.
RICE STOCKS FORECAST TO BE SECOND HIGHEST ON RECORD
The agency raised its forecast for world rice stocks at the close of 2022/23 by 1.9 million tonnes to 194 million tonnes — 0.8 percent below their 2021/22 record and their second highest level on record.
“Drawdowns in rice importing countries look set to be partly offset by a further increase in carry-overs by exporters," it said.
International trade in rice this calendar year is forecast at 53 million tonnes, 5.6 percent below the 2022 peak.
The FAO said export forecasts had been raised for India but lowered for Pakistan and Thailand.
Despite uncertainties over India’s ban on broken rice exports, supplies of other qualities of rice in India “look set to remain ample,” the FAO said.
“This could keep Indian overall exports abundant in 2023, likely displacing some shipments by Pakistan and Thailand.”
Source: Agence Kampuchea Presse