Former UN official: Explosive price increase

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Global food prices have set new all-time highs, surpassing those of the 2008 crisis, but former Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) chief Jose Graziano da Silva says market fundamentals are stable and these increases are artificial and have no justification, according to Bloomberg.

Food stocks are now higher than in the previous crisis, underscoring the need for calm and transparency in the market, despite Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has disrupted supply chains, the former FAO chief told Bloomberg Television.

Jose Graziano da Silva says that the crisis of 2008-11 was the worst it has ever seen and that the world is now in a “much more comfortable situation” when it comes to food stocks.

If the war drags on and – in the worst case scenario – nations decide to ban exports, food prices could rise well above the additional 22% the UN is currently warning about, he added.

Political and financial instability drive food prices and there is a strong need to “calm the market,” the former FAO chief added.

“There is no reason for this price increase,” added Graziano da Silva.

The global food price index hit a new all-time high in March as war in Ukraine sparked turmoil in commodity markets such as cereals and edible oils, the Food and Agriculture Organization said on Friday (DO IT).

The FAO publishes its own Food Price Index on a monthly basis, which measures price changes in a food basket consisting of cereals, vegetable oils, dairy products, meat and sugar. In March 2022, this index rose to 159.3 points, the highest level ever recorded, after a significant jump of 17.9 points (or 13%) from the level recorded in February, when the indicator had already reached the highest level since its inception in 1990.