The United Nation’s FAO Food Price Index (FFPI) increased 1.1% (1.5 percentage points) in January over the month earlier, averaging 135.7 points for the month, the Food & Agriculture Organization said in a release.
The biggest increase was in the Vegetable Oil Price Index, which jumped 4.2% (7.4 percentage points) month-over-month, reaching an all-time high average of 185.9 points in January. The rise reflected higher quotations for palm, soy, rapeseed and sunflowerseed oil.
Meanwhile, the FAO Meat Price Index averaged 112.6 points in January, up slightly from December 2021. The index value was 17.3% (16.6 percentage points) above the level in January 2021.
In January 2022, bovine prices reached a new peak, underpinned by strong global import demand exceeding export supplies (mainly from Brazil and Oceania) and reflecting lower cattle supplies for processing. Meanwhile, pork quotations rose slightly, as labor shortages and high input costs dampened global supply and countered the downward pressure from China's slowdown in imports. By contrast, sheep and poultry meat prices softened further, as global exportable supplies outstripped import demand. This, despite constraints on supplies due to COVID-19-related production and transportation delays, and avian flu outbreaks in some large poultry meat-producing countries.
Food inflation is causing concern both in developed economies – where inflation is considered a threat to countries’ fragile pandemic economies – and in developing countries, where high prices mean more system hunger and the potential for social unrest.
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