World Food Prices Rise for First Time in a Year

    World Food Prices Rise for First Time in a Year
    Last updated May 05, 2023
    Image credit: Reuters


    • The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) world price index rose in April for the first time in a year but is still some 20% lower than its March 2022 record high. The high occurred when Russia invaded Ukraine.[1]
    • In April 2023, the FAO Food Price Index, which tracks monthly changes in international prices of commonly-traded food commodities, averaged 127.2 points. That was 0.6% higher than March's index level and 19.7% below the index's April 2022 figures, yet still 5.2% above its April 2021 level.[2]
    • The FAO explained the Index's rise as a steep increase in sugar prices and higher costs for meat and rice. However, other food prices are down and helped counter losses in vegetable, cereal, and dairy price indexes.[3]
    • FAO chief economist Maximo Torero warned Friday that the demand for food will increase as the global economy recovers from a significant slowdown putting upward pressure on prices.[4]
    • Torero said the increase in rice prices "is extremely worrisome and that it is essential that the Black Sea initiative is renewed to avoid any other spikes in wheat and maize," referring to the deal that allows Ukrainian grain exports to occur via the Black Sea maritime route.[5]
    • In a separate report on cereals supply and demand, the FAO said world wheat production in 2023 would be 785M tons — slightly below a record level from 2022, but still the second-largest return on record.[1]


    Pro-establishment narrative

    Russia's invasion has devastated the people of Ukraine and its repercussions have been felt globally. Military conflict in one of the world's major grain exporters has exacerbated a global food crisis, causing prices to rise. Extreme weather and drought have further impacted food production negatively in 2022, adding to inflation as well as food insecurity. These are issues that the global community must address urgently.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    After provoking the war in Ukraine, the West has gone back on its promise to help the countries affected most by import sanctions on Russia. The EU has confiscated grain exports from the Black Sea Initiative that were meant to go to Africa. This goes directly against its promise to curb the food crisis. Western countries have inflicted suffering on nations they have political disagreements with — i.e. Russia — while leaving the poorest countries with nothing.

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