Global food prices increase by 28% in 2021

The Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) food price index, which tracks the most traded food products in the world, averaged 125.7 points in 2021, the highest high since 131.9 in 2011, Reuters reported.

The monthly index slowed slightly in December, but has climbed for the past four consecutive months, reflecting harvest declines and strong demand from last year.

Rising food prices have contributed to a wider rise in inflation as economies recover from the coronavirus crisis and FAO has warned that higher costs put poorer populations in countries at risk dependent on imports.

In its latest update, the food agency was cautious about whether price pressures could ease this year.

“While normally high prices are expected to give way to increased production, the high cost of inputs, the ongoing global pandemic and increasingly uncertain weather conditions leave little room for optimism about a return. at more stable market conditions even in 2022, “FAO senior economist Abdolreza Abbassian said in a statement.

Soaring fertilizer prices, in turn linked to soaring energy prices, have pushed up the cost of so-called inputs used by farmers to produce crops, casting doubt on the yield prospects for the New Zealand crops. next year.

In December, prices for all categories of the food price index, except dairy, fell as vegetable oils and sugar fell significantly, the agency said in its monthly update.

He cited a lull in demand during the month, concerns over the impact of the Omicron coronavirus variant and supplies to southern hemisphere wheat crops for declines.

However, all categories of the index saw strong increases during the whole of 2021 and the FAO vegetable oil price index reached an all-time high.

Crop futures traded volatile in early 2022 as oilseed markets were rocked by drought in South America and flooding in Malaysia.

Dairy product prices maintained their recent strength in December, helped by lower milk production in Western Europe and Oceania, FAO said.

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