Despite ongoing reassurance that the current bout of surging food inflation is merely temporary and will abate once the pandemic subsides, it appears that global food prices are once again on the rise, reaching the highest in nearly a decade amid worsening climate conditions, global droughts, and supply chain disruptions.
A new report published by the European-based Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) found that global food inflation is rapidly on the rise, amid recent price gains for sugar, vegetable oils, and cereals. The index, with closely mirrors global prices of internationally traded food commodities, rose 3.1% from July to 127.4 in August, which is about 32.9% higher compared to the same month in 2020.
Last month’s sharp price gains were primarily the result of a surge in the price of sugar, as the FAO Sugar Price Index was up 9.6% month-over-month amid significant crop damage in Brazil, one of the world’s largest sugar exporters. The second largest contributor to global food prices was a notable increase in the FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index, which rose 6.7% between July and August, as lower than average production of palm oil sent international prices for the commodity higher. Similarly, the Cereal Price Index jumped 3.4% last month, while the meat index also made gains. The dairy index, on the other hand, slumped in August.
However, with the fall season soon approaching, it appears that the elevated food commodity prices will likely not subside anytime soon. An ill-fated combination of worsening climate disasters, droughts, and volatile weather, coupled with Covid-19 related supply chain disruptions and labour shortages, will put added pressure on already-soaring food costs.
Information for this briefing was found via the FAO. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.