ROME, ITALY —The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) Cereal Price Index (CPI) dropped by 1.3% in November but is still 6.3% above its value a year ago, according to an FAO report released on Dec. 2.

The CPI averaged 150.4 points in November, down 1.9 points from October. However, it is 9 points above its value in November 2021.

World wheat prices registered a 2.8% decline during the month of November, mostly driven by Russia rejoining the Black Sea Grain Initiative and the extension of the agreement, subdued import demand for supplies from the United States due to uncompetitive prices, and greater competition in global markets with increased shipments from Russia.

International prices of coarse grains also eased in November, down 1% from October. Maize prices declined by 1.7% month-on-month, also influenced by developments in the Black Sea Grain Initiative, while improved transport on the Mississippi River in the United States weighed on prices as well. International prices of sorghum declined by 1.2% in November in tandem with maize prices, while barley prices increased by 2.5%.

International rice prices moved up by another 2.3% in November, influenced by currency appreciations against the US dollar for some Asian suppliers and good buying interest.

 The FAO also announced on Dec. 2 that its Food Price Index (FPI) averaged 135.7 points in November 2022, virtually unchanged from October, with month-on-month decreases in the price indices for cereals, dairy and meat, nearly offsetting increases in those of vegetable oils and sugar. At this level, the index stood only marginally above (0.3%) its corresponding value in November 2021.

It marked the eighth straight month that the FPI had declined. However, it remains at a historically high level after reaching a 10-year peak in 2021.