Global food prices have jumped at their fastest monthly rate in over a decade, according to the United Nations.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) food price index tracks prices around the world of a range of food including cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat and sugar. The FAO Food Price Index averaged 127.1 points in May, 4.8 percent higher than in April and 39.7 percent higher than in May 2020. All five components of the index rose, led by the surging cost of vegetable oils, grain and sugar. That pushed the index up to its highest overall level since September 2011.

The vegetable oil price index gained 7.8 percent in May, mainly reflecting rising palm, soy and rapeseed oil quotations. The sugar price index increased by 6.8 percent from April, due largely to harvest delays and concerns over reduced crop yields in Brazil, the world’s largest sugar exporter. The cereal price index increased 6.0 percent from April while the meat index is up by 2.2 percent.

 

Suppliers have been affected by disruptions to production, labour and transport during the pandemic. The increased costs are a result of renewed demand in some countries and a backlog of low production. Experts had warned that high demand and low production would lead to rising inflation as economies exit lockdown.

The wider effects of the pandemic can be acutely felt in a developing country like Pakistan. According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, the country’s high inflation rate of 10.9 percent is mainly driven by a double-digit growth in food inflation in both urban and rural areas. The food inflation rate in cities increased to 15.3 percent and in villages and towns to 12.8 per cent.

 

In May, chicken prices shot up by 60 per cent, followed by 55 per cent increase in prices of eggs, 31 per cent rise in prices of mustard oil and wheat prices were up by 30 per cent over a year, according to the PBS.

Wheat and wheat flour prices are expected to remain under pressure, as production has fallen short of wheat consumption by at least two million metric tons. The wheat flour prices were higher by 28.5 per cent in May.

From : pk.mashable.com

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