Daily Management Review

Global food prices hit 10-year high in 2021


The global food price index for 2021 rose by 27.6 points in annual terms to 125.7 points, the highest since 2011, when the index was 131.9 points, with the index for December slightly down in November, according to a press release from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The world price index was 133.7 points in December after 134.9 points in November.

The FAO Cereal Price Index climbed 27.2 percent to 131.2 points over the year, with maize and wheat prices up 44.1 percent and 31.3 percent, respectively, on strong demand and tight availabilities and only rice prices down 4 percent. In December, the Cereal Price Index averaged 0.6 percent, down to 140.5 points, with wheat down on improved availability and slower demand and maize up, led by strong demand and fears of drought in Brazil, FAO said.

The 2021 Vegetable Oil Price Index jumped by as much as 1.66 times to 164.8 points, the highest annual average. In December, the index fell 3.3 percent from November to 178.5 points due to cheaper palm and sunflower oils, while soybean and rapeseed oil prices were almost unchanged from November, the release said.

The price index for dairy products rose 16.9% to 119 points for all of last year, due to strong import demand, especially from Asia, amid limited supply. In December, the index rose 1.8% over November, to 128.2 points. Butter and milk powder prices continued to rise due to strong global demand and tight supply due to low production in Western Europe and Oceania, FAO said.

The FAO Meat Price Index rose 12.7 percent to 107.6 points in 2021, with lamb accounting for the largest increase in price, beef and poultry also rising, while pork prices fell slightly. In December, the Index moved down marginally to 111.3 points with the price of poultry falling due to increased exports, lamb falling due to higher supplies from Oceania and pork falling for six straight months as China reduced imports, FAO said.

The FAO sugar price index rose 37.5% last year to 109.3 points, the highest annual average since 2016. This development is attributed to concerns over declining production in Brazil and rising demand for sugar globally, the organisation explains. The index fell 3.1% to 116.4 points in December, the lowest in five months. "This decline is due to a slowdown in global demand as a result of the spread of the COVID-19 Omicron strain and the re-introduction of quarantine measures in many regions," the release reads.

source: fao.org