Global food prices are approaching their highest levels in six years, World of NAN reported citing a report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
According to the FAO, the increase recorded in November was the sharpest since July 2012, bringing the index to its highest level since December 2014.
The FAO Food Price Index is used to track changes in international prices of the most popular food commodities. The increase recorded in November affected all commodity groups included in the index.
It is reported that the average value of FAO Food Price Index for November was 105.0 points, which is by 3.9% higher than its October value and by 6.5 % higher than in the same period of the last year.
"The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index went up 14.5% this month, reflecting the continuing rise in the price of palm oil amid a sharp decline in global inventories.
Since October, the average value of the FAO grain price index has risen by 2.5%, outpacing the 19.9% increase in November 2019. Wheat export prices rose due to lower crop expectations in Argentina, while corn prices rose due to expected production declines in the U.S. and Ukraine amid active purchases by China," the report said.
The FAO Sugar Price Index climbed 3.3% from a month earlier this year on expectations of increased global production shortfalls in the coming season as adverse weather conditions resulted in weaker crop prospects in the European Union, Russian Federation and Thailand. The FAO Dairy Price Index rose by 0.9%, close to its highest level in 18 months, mainly because of higher butter and cheese prices and increased retail sales in Europe during the region's seasonally lower milk production. Only international rice prices remained stable during the month.
Since October, the average FAO Meat Price Index has increased by 0.9%, but it is still 13.7% below the same period last year. Prices of beef, lamb and pork increased, while poultry prices decreased.
Experts predict that by the end of the 2021 season, grain stocks in the world will fall to 866.4 million tons, i.e. the global ratio of stocks to consumption will be 30.7%, reaching the lowest level in the last five years, which can still be considered relatively comfortable.
Experts believe that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in terms of loss of income, is an important factor in determining the extent of food insecurity in the world. Meanwhile, 45 countries, including 34 in Africa, still need external food aid.