“The world food price record has already been broken”

USAis a record that the inhabitants of the planet would have done without. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) issued another warning on Friday, April 8. “World food prices are the highest”, she launched. The previous record, set in February, has already been broken. A month later, the FAO index, which tracks the monthly change in international prices of a basket of basic necessities, rose 12.6%.

The invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces on February 24 fueled speculation about agricultural prices, already depressed by the Covid-19 crisis. Investors weighed the weight of the two countries in the markets and dependence on their customers. It is therefore not surprising that the price of wheat rose. But also corn. Knowing that Russia and Ukraine together represent almost a quarter of the world grain trade.

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However, maritime flows to sell their supplies have been disrupted and concerns weigh on the wheat crop already in the ground and the maize yet to be sown in the conflict zones, where weapons are likely missing. In other producing countries, the issue of the cost of fertilizers, coupled with the increase in gas prices, could be detrimental to the 2023 harvest. In this context, the FAO grain price index recorded a 17% increase in one month. †

Abundant rice

Even hotter, edible oil prices were up 23%. Ukraine accounts for half of the world trade in sunflower oil. The ratio reaches 80% with Russia. The risk of a disruption in the supply of this fat caused the price to explode, dragging rapeseed, soybean or palm oil.

Domino effect causes the price of meat to rise when the animals crunch golden grains on the edge. The international organization believes it is breaking historical records. Especially as health crises reduce herds, both in pigs affected by African swine fever and in poultry, which has been wiped out by an unprecedented avian flu epidemic.

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In this dark photo, the FAO puts some lighter accents. First, by emphasizing the stability of the abundant rice. Even if it has lowered its grain harvest forecasts, it is projecting world wheat production of 784 million tons in 2022, an increase of 1.1%. His postulate: 20% of the area of ​​winter crops planted in Ukraine will not be harvested.

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