The UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO’s) food price index, which tracks costs of the world’s most common commodity foods, jumped 14.3 percent last year to bring food prices to their highest on record.
Prices already had leaped 28 percent in 2021.
Through 2022, four of the index’s five subcategories—cereals, dairy, meat, and vegetable oils—set records. Sugar, the fifth, reached a ten-year high.
The price of cereals, a category covering most grains, went up 17.9 percent last year due to droughts, disruptions due to the Ukraine war and Western sanctions on Russia, skyrocketing fuel and fertilizer costs, and unrelenting high demand, the FAO noted.
TREND FORECAST: Food prices have eased in recent months, as we reported in “World Food Prices Plummet Most in 14 Years” (9 Aug 2022). However, as inflation rises and wages decline, the higher food prices will continue to take its toll on consumers, suppliers… and restaurants which have to charge higher prices that many customers can’t afford.
And the longer and more fierce the Ukraine War rages, many commodity prices will remain high. See:
- “GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD: FRENCH CAN’T SWALLOW SURGING PRICES” (25 Oct 2022)
- “TREND: LESS FOOD, HIGHER PRICES” (13 Sep 2022)
- “FOOD CRISIS WORSENS: PREPARE FOR NEW WORLD DISORDER” (28 Jun 2022)
- “OBAMA SAYS UKRAINE WAR IS ‘FAR FROM OVER’ AS WORLD BRACES FOR HUNGER PAIN” (14 Jun 2022)
- “TOP TREND, NEW WORLD DISORDER: ‘FOOD SHOCK’ WILL ENDURE FOR YEARS” (7 Jun 2022)
Also, weather extremes such as prolonged droughts and damaging storms—has raised the price of common commodity foods, both because actual shortages will become more common and because growers and processors will hoard against future shortfalls.