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World food prices hit 10-year high in 2021: UN body

FAO food price index averaged at 125.7 points last year, up 28.1% from year ago

Tuba Onğun   | 06.01.2022
World food prices hit 10-year high in 2021: UN body

ANKARA

Up 28.1% year-on-year, world food prices hit a 10-year high in 2021, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on Thursday.

The FAO food price index averaged at 125.7 points last year, up 27.6 points from 2020, with all sub-indices averaging sharply higher compared to the previous year. The figure was 131.9 in 2011.

“While normally high prices are expected to give way to increased production, the high cost of inputs, ongoing global pandemic and ever more uncertain climatic conditions leave little room for optimism about a return to more stable market conditions even in 2022,” said FAO senior economist Abdolreza Abbassian.

The FAO food price index is a trade-weighted index that tracks international market prices of five major food commodity groups.

Vegetable oil price index surges to all-time high

The cereal price index rose 27.2% from the previous year to reach its highest annual average registered since 2012, mostly driven by strong demand and tighter supplies, especially among major wheat exporters.

The FAO vegetable oil price index reached an all-time high last year, increasing 65.8% from 2020.

The sugar price index rose 29.8% from the previous year to its highest level since 2016.

Concerns over the reduced output in Brazil amid stronger global demand for sugar underpinned the increase in prices, it stressed.

The FAO meat price index went up by 12.7% during the same period with ovine meat registering the sharpest increase in prices, followed by bovine and poultry meats, while pig meat prices fell marginally.

The dairy price index averaged 16.9% higher than in 2020, reflecting sustained import demand, especially from Asia, and tight exportable supplies from the leading producing regions.

Global food prices dip in December

Meanwhile, world food prices fell slightly in December as international prices for vegetable oils and sugar fell significantly from lofty levels.

December's FAO food price index decreased 0.9% from a month ago, averaging at 133.7 points but it was still up 23.1% from the same month last year.

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