Food prices hit a high last month

Photo source: Joe Lingeman via The Kitchn

Reading time: 2 minutes

The global food price index returned in January and reached its highest level in 10 years as a result of rising vegetable oil prices, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said, according to Reuters. .ro.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Food Price Index, which tracks the world’s most traded foodstuffs, averaged 135.7 points last month, up from 134.1 points in December. Data for December were revised upwards, initially reporting a level of 133.7 points. The FAO monitors price changes for a food basket containing vegetable oils, dairy products, meat, sugar and cereals.

High food prices have contributed to rising inflation as economies recover from coronavirus problems, and the FAO has warned that all higher costs endanger the poorer populations in import-dependent countries.

The Rome-based FAO has also increased its projection of world cereal production in 2021 to 2.793 billion tonnes from a previous estimate of 2.791 billion tonnes, according to its outlook on grain demand and supply.

“There is concern that the impact of these constraints will not diminish rapidly.”

Boubaker Ben-Belhassen, head of the FAO’s Markets and Trade Division, said in a press release.

The price of vegetable oils, a record level

The organization said that the index of vegetable oils increased by 4.2% from one month to the next, and in January it reached a record level, due to the shortage of labor, but also bad weather. The FAO dairy price index rose by 2.4% for the fifth month in a row, with the sharpest price hikes being skimmed milk and butter.

The grain price index rose just 0.1 percent, with corn rising 3.8 percent a month, fueled by concerns about persistent drought conditions in South America, the FAO said. In contrast, world wheat prices fell by 3.1% amid large harvests in Australia and Argentina.

Meat prices rose in January, while sugar was the only index to fall 3.1% from the previous month, largely due to favorable production prospects from major exporters in India and Thailand, he said. DO IT.

The organization also published a set of revised estimates of world cereal production in 2021, with a production forecast of 2.793 billion tonnes, compared to the previous forecast of 2.791 billion tonnes. The upward revision is due to higher harvests in Australia and Argentina, compared to slightly higher production estimates in Russia and Ukraine.

“By 2022, global wheat plantations are expected to expand, supported mainly by favorable weather conditions in the northern hemisphere, although high input costs could discourage further expansion.”

said the FAO.

Global cereal use in 2021-2022 has been estimated to increase by 1.6% above the 2020-2021 level, reaching 2.805 billion tonnes. The FAO forecast for world grain stocks by the end of the season in 2022 is 824 million tonnes, up 2.2 million tonnes from November and just slightly below the opening level.