Worldwide food prices continued to fall for three straight months, according to the latest United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Global food prices reached historic highs in March, but the recent report from the UN FAO show improvements. While still above the past year’s data, the FAO food price index, which tracks the changes in the basket of food commodity prices, fell by 2.3 percent in June compared to May.
The drop in prices was stirred by an overall reduction in the international prices of cereals, vegetable oils, and sugar. Notably, costs of the said items remain higher by 23.1 percent than in the past year.
Compared to last month, wheat prices dropped by 5.7 percent but remained up by 49 percent compared to last year. Sugar and vegetable prices also showed a continuous decline in prices compared to May’s numbers. However, meat prices were higher, showing an increase of 1.7 percent from May, and 13 percent from last year.
An analyst from Nomura shares that Asian countries like South Korea, the Philippines, Singapore, and India will see more food price increases by the second half of this year, with peak prices hitting this month until September.
Chief economist for India and Asia (ex-Japan) at the Japanese bank shared with CNBC that food price changes in Asia are delayed compared to global movements since most governments tend to subsidize and place price controls to manage price increases.
Varma and her team shared that more than 2 percent of the gross domestic product in the Philippines are net food imports, making it the second highest in Asia (ex-Japan). Singapore and South Korea are at risk as both countries have high food importation rates.