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The global food index is rising again

Глобалният индекс на храните отново расте

Global food prices rose last month after Russia pulled out of a deal on safe passage for ships carrying grain from Ukrainian ports.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reported that the food price index rose by 1.3% in July compared to the previous month.

The monthly index, which tracks a range of food commodities, is still down almost 12% from July 2022, but Russia's decision to withdraw from the Black Sea accord pushed up prices of grains and sunflower oil.

"International sunflower oil prices recovered by more than 15% on a monthly basis, mainly supported by renewed uncertainty surrounding export supplies from the Black Sea region," FAO said in a statement. Ukraine is the largest exporter of sunflower oil, accounting for 46% of global exports, according to the United Nations.

Concerns about production shutdowns for palm oil in Southeast Asia and soybean and canola oil in North America further weighed on prices, according to the agency.

FAO's global wheat price index, which feeds into its broader food price index, jumped 1.6 percent in July from the previous month. This is the first monthly increase in nine months, although it remains down 46% from the all-time high in February 2022.

Russian attacks on Ukrainian port infrastructure following the collapse of a grain deal have also boosted prices in recent weeks. Both countries make a significant contribution to world supplies, and therefore their behavior is decisive for a number of countries around the world.

"With approximately 80% of East Africa's grain imported from Russia and Ukraine, over 50 million people across East Africa are currently facing insecurity and the risk of famine," said Shashwat Saraf, Regional Director of Emergencies for East Africa in the International Rescue Committee.

The destruction of port infrastructure in both Ukraine and Russia is a loss for the entire world, commented Matthew Miller, a spokesman for the United States.

"They're not just targeting people, they're targeting the entire world, because when they target grain infrastructure, when they target transportation infrastructure, when they destroy grain, as they've done in the last few weeks, they don't just harm the adversary, they harm the every country in the world," Miller concluded.

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