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Global food prices “close to record levels”

Mon 06/12/2021 by Richard Wilkinson
Fruit and vegetables in shelves. Copyright: Eurofresh distribution.

Food prices worldwide have reached near record highs, according to a Bloomberg report. A United Nations gauge of global food prices rose by 1.2% last month, as further evidence of the soaring inflation in the world’s largest economies, and making it even harder for the poorest nations to import food.

There are multiple reasons for the spike in prices, including the bad weather, higher shipping rates, worker shortages, energy crunch, and surging fertiliser costs. While it typically takes a while for commodity costs to trickle down to supermarkets, the current situation has echoes of the spikes recorded in 2008 and 2011 which contributed to global food crises.

 Abdolreza Abbassian, a senior economist at the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization said:

“This is obviously bad news for consumers.”

November’s push higher was mainly driven by grains and dairy, while prices of vegetable oils and meat declined, the FAO said in a report Thursday. Shoppers are likely to continue to feel the effects of inflation for months to come as economies re-open in the wake of the pandemic.

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