Global food prices in 2022 hit record high amid drought, war : NPR

0 25

Children sit near shelters in a camp for displaced people on the outskirts of Dollow, Somalia, on September 19, 2022.

Jerome Delay/AP File

hide caption

toggle caption

Jerome Delay/AP File

Children sit near shelters in a camp for displaced people on the outskirts of Dollow, Somalia, on September 19, 2022.

Jerome Delay/AP File

ROME — Global prices for food commodities such as grain and vegetable oils were the highest on record last year even after falling for nine consecutive months, the Food Organization said. and UN Agriculture, as Russia’s war in Ukraine, drought and other factors increased inflation. and hunger worsened around the world.

The FAO Food Price Index, which tracks monthly changes in international prices of commonly traded food commodities, fell 1.9% in December from a month earlier, the an organization based in Rome Friday. For the whole year, it averaged 143.7 points, more than 14% above the 2021 average, which also saw big increases.

The decline in December was driven by a drop in the price of vegetable oils amid shrinking import demand, expectations of increased soybean oil production in South America and lower crude oil prices. Wheat and meat also decreased, while milk and sugar increased slightly.

“Calmer food commodity prices are welcome after two very volatile years,” FAO chief economist Maximo Torero said in a prepared statement. “It is important that we remain vigilant and maintain a strong focus on mitigating global food insecurity as world food prices remain at elevated levels, with many staples near record highs, and with rising rice prices, there are still many risks associated with future supplies. “

Last year, the UN organization’s Food Price Index reached its highest level since records began in 1961, according to FAO data.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February exacerbated a food crisis because the two countries were leading global suppliers of wheat, barley, sunflower oil and other products, especially for nations in parts of the Africa, the Middle East and Asia that were already struggling with hunger.

With critical Black Sea supplies disrupted, food prices have risen to record levels, increasing inflation, poverty and food insecurity in developing nations that depend on imports.

The war also disrupted energy markets and fertilizer supplies, both key to food production. This was on top of climatic shocks that raised famine in places like the Horn of Africa. Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya are badly hit by the worst drought in decades, with the UN warning that parts of Somalia are facing famine. Thousands of people have already died.

Prices for wheat and corn reached a record high last year, although they fell in December along with the costs of other grains, the FAO said. She said that the harvest in the Southern Hemisphere increased supplies and there was strong competition among exporters.

The organization’s Vegetable Oil Price Index hit an all-time high last year, even as it fell in December to its lowest level since February 2021. For all of 2022, the FAO Milk Price Index and the Meat Price Index were also the highest since 1990.

Leave A Reply