May 30, 2023

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Cereals: Fall in international prices begins

Exports of grain and agricultural products from Ukraine and Russia resumed on July 24 after two separate agreements were signed between Russia and Ukraine on July 22, which were verified by neighboring Turkey and the United Nations. Despite sanctions imposed by Ukraine’s allies.

Avoiding famine in parts of the world that depend heavily on grain imports is one of the UN’s priority and urgent objectives. The impact of the resumption of grain exports at Black Sea ports on international prices was almost immediate. In July, the FAO cereal price index fell by 19.1 points, reaching an average value of 147.3 points, although it did not return to the level recorded a year ago (126.3 points).

Overall world wheat prices fell 14.5% in July, although they rose 24.8% compared to July 2021. World corn prices, a major commodity used in livestock and poultry feed production, in turn, suffered a decline. It is worth noting the lifting of the export ban in 10.7% of Black Sea ports and the increase in seasonal availability in Argentina and Brazil, the world’s main corn producers. The impact is felt through a drop in world prices of maize and barley by -12.8% and -12.6% respectively. For the first time since January, world rice prices have started to decline.

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Thus, the global average price of grains reached a peak of 173.5 points in May 2022. For food items, it peaked in March 2022 with 159 points. In July 2022, the world average for food commodities was seen at 140.9 points, which was hit hardest by cereals, which reached 147.3 points.

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This is a positive development for countries like Morocco that are highly dependent on grain imports, especially during droughts, which have become more frequent in recent decades.