World food prices reach all-time high over supply issues, Ukraine crisis
Published: Mar 05, 2022 08:19 AM
World food prices reached their highest point in the 61-year history of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization's Food Price Index, pushed higher by supply chain issues and the Ukraine crisis.

The monthly index, released Friday by the organization, best known as FAO, averaged 140.7 points in February. That is 3.9 percent higher than in January, 24.1 percent higher than in February 2021, and 2 percent above its previous all-time high set in February 2011.

The index, which measures prices dating back to 1961, uses the average for prices between 2014 and 2016 as the value of 100. It is adjusted for inflation.

Four of five sub categories in the index rose, with the index for grains and cereals -- the largest component in the index -- climbing 3.0 percent, with wheat prices pushed higher by supply worries given that both Russia and Ukraine are major wheat exporters.

Other sub-indexes rose even more, with prices for vegetable oil up 8.5 percent compared to the previous month and dairy prices climbing 6.4 percent.

Meat prices rose by a modest 1.1 percent.

The one category to see prices fall was for sugar, with prices down 1.9 percent, its third consecutive decrease. FAO said strong production prospects in India, Thailand, and Brazil kept prices low.

The monthly FAO Food Price Index is based on worldwide prices for 23 food commodity categories covering prices for 73 different products compared to a baseline year.

The next index is scheduled to be released on April 7.