Global food prices hit their highest in a decade, and experts warn it could get worse

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Global food prices have reached the highest levels in a decade – and experts warn price spikes of up to 16% in the United States could worsen, in part due to soaring costs of the energy.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) September food price index – a measure of monthly changes in global food prices – reached 130 points, a level not seen since 2011.

This represents an increase of 32.8% compared to September 2020.

Prices are also skyrocketing in the United States, where beef prices have jumped 12.2 percent in the past year, and the cost of bacon has risen 17 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Meat, poultry, fish and eggs have sold at an 8% premium this year, with prices up 15.7% since August 2019.

A carton of eggs will likely cost a buyer 10% more this year, a rise that is blamed on the widespread increase in food prices both nationally and globally.

Bacon price increased 17%, according to US Department of Labor

Bacon price increased 17%, according to US Department of Labor

The cost of fresh fish and seafood has jumped 10.7%, and eggs are pushing buyers back another 10%.

The dairy group was the only sector to see a decline, after falling 0.5% year over year.

David Ortega, associate professor and food economist at Michigan State University, said food prices will continue to be affected by a host of short-term factors.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and the law of supply and demand among the reasons he cited for the price spikes, he said.

David Ortega, associate professor and food economist at Michigan State University, says many factors are contributing to the price increases shoppers see in stores

David Ortega, associate professor and food economist at Michigan State University, says many factors are contributing to the price increases shoppers see in stores

“Consumer behavior is changing and demand is increasing as consumers begin to reappear from this latest wave of covid cases,” Ortega told DailyMail.com. “There are serious logistics issues in the supply chain that affect shipping and transportation times and add to rising costs. Labor shortages and rising wages are also partly to blame.

Climate change also plays a role, he added.

“Hot and dry weather in North America, frost and severe drought in Brazil (the main supplier of sugar, coffee and animal feed in the world, among other food-related products)”, he said. declared. “An energy crisis is also threatening this year’s fall harvest in China, which is already underway and could add to rising costs around the world.

“So it’s really about a wide range of factors that come together and combine.”

He said food prices will continue to rise over the next few months and the long-term severity depends on the extent of crop setbacks in some countries and how quickly the supply chain can catch up. previous disturbances.

Beef prices jumped 12.2%, joining other types of meats to become more expensive

Beef prices jumped 12.2%, joining other types of meats to become more expensive

The dairy group was the only listed U.S. food category where prices were seen to drop

The dairy group was the only listed U.S. food category where prices were seen to drop

Fresh fish has become almost 11% more expensive since around the same time last year

Fresh fish has become almost 11% more expensive since around the same time last year

Rising energy costs are exacerbating the challenge, Bloomberg reported last month.

“It is this combination of things that is starting to get very worrying,” FAO economist Abdolreza Abbassian told the newspaper. “It’s not just the isolated food price figures, but all of them together. I don’t think anyone two or three months ago expected energy prices to get this high.

Rising food prices around the world are caused by tight supplies and growing demand for staples such as wheat and palm, FAO said.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations food price increase peaks in 10 years

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations food price increase peaks in 10 years

This graph shows the rise and fall of food prices over the past three decades

This graph shows the rise and fall of food prices over the past three decades

Its index, which tracks monthly changes in commonly traded food products around the world, showed wheat prices up to 41 percent year-on-year.

“Among the major grains, wheat will be the focus in the coming weeks as demand must be tested against rapidly rising prices,” FAO Senior Economist Abdolreza Abbassian said in a statement. hurry.

FAO’s vegetable oil price index rose 1.7% last month, representing a 60% year-over-year increase caused by rising palm oil prices which peaked in 10 years due to growing demand and labor shortages, the organization said.

The world sugar price rose 53.5% year-on-year, a jump attributed to bad weather and higher ethanol prices in Brazil, the world’s largest sugar exporter.

Global dairy prices have increased by about 15 percent year-over-year, a rise due to “strong global import demand” and seasonal factors in Europe and Oceania, the report said. FAO.

The demand for butter was particularly high.

The cost of meat was unchanged month over month, but increased 26.3% from the previous year.


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