Geneva, Jan 08, 2022, IANS
Although global food prices decreased slightly in December 2021 month-on-month, they were much higher throughout last year than in 2020, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Abdolreza Abbassian, senior economist of the UN agency, told a press briefing here on Friday that in 2021, the FAO Food Price Index was 28.1 per cent higher than in 2020, reports xinhua news agency.
Global cereal prices were at their highest level since 2012, on average 27.2 per cent above 2020 prices, he said.
According to Abbassian, in 2021, vegetable oil prices increased by 65.8 per cent over 2020; sugar prices soared to their highest level since 2016; meat prices were 12.7 per cent above 2020 prices; and dairy prices were 16.9 per cent higher than in 2020.
Biggest gainers were maize, up 44.1 per cent, and wheat, gaining 31.3 per cent. One of the world's other key staple foods, rice, lost 4 per cent.
The Vegetable Oil Price Index declined 3.3 per cent in December, due to lower global import demand, that may be linked to concerns over the impact of rising Covid-19 cases, which have led to delays in the supply chain.
For the year as a whole, the Oil Index reached an all-time high, increasing 65.8 per cent compared with 2020.
"The monthly increase in prices since the last quarter of 2020 was a signal for producers to produce more, but whether or not 2022 would see an adjustment depends on several factors, including the repercussions of the pandemic, the cost of fertilizers and climate conditions," he noted.