Global Food Prices Up 18%

Jan. 7, 2021
Global food prices will continue to rise in 2021 for the seventh year in a row, according to a United Nations panel.

Global food prices will continue to rise in 2021 for the seventh year in a row, spurred by the continuing pandemic, drought and other factors, according to a United Nations panel.

Overall prices have risen 18% since May, according to the UN’s Food & Agriculture Organization. Corn, soybeans, palm oil and other commodities are peaking in price.

The UN identified several contributing factors, including: continuing disruption due to the pandemic; high demand from China; drought in South America and other regions; and, in the longer term, increased demand from areas undergoing economic recovery from the pandemic. Soybean supplies are already tight enough so that some sort of rationing will have to be applied, a Cargill executive said this week as reported by Bloomberg.

The situation will be especially bad for poorer nations without social-safety nets, UN officials said.

“Food inflation is a reality,” said Abdolreza Abbassian, a senior economist at the FAO. “While people have lost income, they are as we speak going through a tremendously difficult hardship.”

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