World

World food prices hit record high in February, United Nations agency says

World food prices hit a record high in February, this was led by a surge in vegetable oils and dairy products, to post a 20.7 percent increase year-on-year, the UN food agency confirmed on Friday.

The Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) food price index, which tracks the most traded food commodities around the world, averaged 140.7 points last month against a downwardly revised 135.4 in January. That figure was previously given as 135.7.

Higher food prices have contributed to an increase in inflation as economies recover from the pandemic and the FAO has warned that the higher costs are putting poorer populations at risk in countries which rely on imports.

FAO economist Upali Galketi Aratchilage said concerns over crop conditions and export availabilities provided only a partial explanation to the increase in global food prices.

“A much bigger push for food price inflation comes from outside food production, particularly the energy, fertiliser and feed sectors,” he said. “All these factors tend to squeeze profit margins of food producers, discouraging them from investing and expanding production.”

Data for the February report was mostly compiled before the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

FAO said its vegetable oils index rose 8.5 per cent month-on-month in February to chalk up another record high, propelled by rising palm, soy, and sunflower oil prices. Ukraine and Russia account for about 80 per cent of global exports of sunflower oil.

ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH 

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: EGYPTIAN-GAZETTE.COM

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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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