Amid a year filled with supply chain challenges, a pandemic, drought, and war, 2022 saw global food prices at an all-time high. That's according to the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization Food Price Index, which tracks prices of food commodities throughout the world.
The FAO Food Price Index (FFPI) rose sharply in 2022, with food prices climbing as much as 14.3% (18 points) compared to 2021. Due in part to drought and war in Ukraine, the global price of wheat and maize reached record highs this year as did the average value of vegetable oil. According to the FFPI, dairy and meat prices marked the highest full-year levels they've seen since 1990.
In the last nine months, food prices have declined incrementally, with December prices down 1.9% (2.6 points) compared to November and 1% lower than the previous December. Last month's decline was driven by a drop in the international prices of vegetable oils (down 6.7%), combined with a drop in prices for some cereals (down 1.9%) and meats (down 1.2%). On the flip side, sugar and dairy prices remained higher by 2.4% and 1.1% respectively.
“It is important to remain vigilant and keep a strong focus on mitigating global food insecurity given that world food prices remain at elevated levels," said FAO Chief Economist Maximo Torero in a statement.