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

ROME: According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, global prices for food commodities such as grains and vegetable oils reached their highest levels ever last year. Despite declining for nine straight months as a result of the Russian military campaign in Ukraine. Adrought, and other factors that increased inflation and exacerbated hunger around the world.

According to the Rome-based FAO, which records monthly changes in the prices of frequently traded food commodities on the worldwide market. Prices fell 1.9% in December from a month earlier. It averaged 143.7 points for the entire year. More than 14% higher than the 2021 average, which also experienced significant rises.

Vegetable oil prices fell with declining import demand, driving the December fall.

forecasts of higher soy oil production and decreased crude oil prices in South America. While dairy and sugar saw a tiny increase, grain and meat also declined.

After two years of extreme volatility, lower food commodity prices are welcome. According to the chief economist of the FAO, Maximo Torero. “Given that world food prices continue to be high. That many staples are close to record highs, that rice prices are rising, and that there are still numerous concerns related with future supplies. It is necessary to be attentive and have a strong focus on alleviating global food poverty.”

According to FAO data, the Food Price Index for the U.N. organization reached its highest point in 2011. Since records have been kept since 1961.

As the world’s top producers of wheat, barley, sunflower oil, and other goods. Especially for countries in regions of Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. That were already experiencing a food crisis, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February exacerbated a food catastrophe.

Food prices reached record highs as a result of the disruption of crucial Black Sea supplies. Which increased inflation, poverty, and food insecurity in developing countries that depend on imports.

The energy markets and fertilizer supply, both crucial to food production, were also shaken by the war. Additionally, there have been climatic shocks that have exacerbated starvation in regions like the Horn of Africa.

The greatest drought in decades is severely affecting Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya, and the U.N. has issued a famine warning for areas of Somalia. Already, thousands of people have died.

Corn and wheat prices hit record highs last year. According to the FAO, albeit they declined in December along with the price of other grains. It said that harvests in the Southern Hemisphere increased supplies and that exporters faced fierce competition.

The Vegetable Oil Price Index for the organization reached a record high in 2017. While declining in December to its lowest point since February 2021. The FAO Meat Price Index and Dairy Price Index both reached their highest levels since 1990 for the entire year of 2022.