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"Global Food Prices Reach Record High in 2022 Amid Drought & War": UN Food Agency

The cost of most food commodities increased last year as the disruption caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine raised fears of shortages, sending the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization's average price index to its highest level on record.

Shivam Dwivedi
4 of FAO's 5 food sub-indices – cereals, meat, dairy and vegetable oils – were set to reach record highs in 2022
4 of FAO's 5 food sub-indices – cereals, meat, dairy and vegetable oils – were set to reach record highs in 2022

Global food commodity prices were the highest on record last year, despite falling for nine months in a row, according to the FAO, as Russia's war in Ukraine, drought, and other factors drove up inflation and worsened global hunger.


According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the food price index, which tracks international prices of the most widely traded food commodities, averaged 143.7 points in 2022, up 14.3% from 2021 and the highest since records began in 1990.

The index had already gained 28% from the previous year in 2021 as the global economy recovered from the effects of the pandemic. Fears of disruptions to Black Sea trade drove up food prices following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February last year.


They have given back some of their gains since, owing in part to a United Nations-backed grain export channel from Ukraine and the prospect of improved supplies in producing countries. The benchmark index fell for the ninth consecutive month in December, to 132.4 points, from a revised 135.00 points in November. The previous figure for November was 135.7 points.

"After two very volatile years, lower food commodity prices are welcome," said FAO Chief Economist Maximo Torero. The index fell in December due to a drop in the international price of vegetable oils, as well as some drops in cereal and meat prices, but was offset by slight increases in sugar and dairy prices, according to the FAO.


Nonetheless, four of the FAO's five food sub-indices - cereals, meat, dairy, and vegetable oils - had reached record highs in 2022, while the fifth, sugar, had reached a 10-year high. According to the FAO, the FAO Cereal Price Index index will rise 17.9% in 2022 due to factors such as significant market disruptions, higher energy and input costs, adverse weather, and continued strong global food demand.


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