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World Food Prices "Steady" - UN


FILE: Illustration representing foodstuffs available in markets. Taken March 15, 2020

World food prices held steady in October, though cereal prices rose over uncertainty of a deal giving safe passage for Ukrainian grains on the Black Sea, a UN agency said Friday.

The Food and Agriculture Organization said Friday its price index, which tracks the monthly change in international prices of a basket of food commodities, averaged 135.9 points in October, marginally lower from September.

Global food prices have been falling since hitting an all-time high in March in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, one of the world's top exporters of wheat and cooking oil.

While the overall price index was steady last month, the FAO said its cereal price index averaged 152.3 points in October, 4.4 points higher than in the previous month.

Global inflation also remains persistent, keeping food prices from dropping even lower.

Wheat prices were up 3.2 percent, "mostly reflecting continued uncertainties related to the Black Sea Grain Initiative," it said.

Russia has yet to decide whether to extend the grain deal beyond November 19 -the renewal date written into the original agreement brokered by the UN and Turkey to stave off a global food emergency.

Russia has said in recent days that it wants certain "assurances" connected to its renewal of the agreement. Because of the Ukraine invasion, many nations have blocked the importation of Russian foodstuffs and fertilizer.

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