Global food prices rose 20 per cent last year as the COVID-19 outbreak continued to push up prices for a wide range of agricultural products. At present, some countries and regions are faced with serious food safety problems. What will the future price look like?
In 2020, the COVID-19 epidemic briefly affected the normal operation of the US food supply chain, causing the price of US meat products to experience large fluctuations last year.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics tracks the retail prices of 22 types of meat commonly used in the U.S. and found that nearly all of them rose in February from a year earlier. The biggest increases were for ham and fresh chicken, which both rose more than 16 percent from a year earlier.
Rising feed prices have been one of the main drivers of higher US meat prices since the end of last year. Corn and soybean prices have soared to their highest levels in seven years, raising the cost of feeding cattle, pigs and poultry by at least 30% as a record drought in the U.S. Southwest crippling crop supplies.
Rupert Claxton, director of meat products at a food industry research firm, said: “There’s a huge portion of the cost of feed in meat production, and it varies from meat to meat. Take chickens, for example. Seventy percent of the cost of raising a chicken is the cost of feed.
Industry insiders predict that US beef, pork and chicken retail prices will rise further in the coming months.
U.S. meat prices will continue to rise until the middle of the year, with prices likely to ease toward the third or fourth quarter, said Rupert Claxton, director of meat products at food industry research firm Caterpillar.
Separately, experts warned that rising meat prices in the United States could raise the risk of overall food price inflation.
Nigeria is the largest economy and most populous country in Africa. Since last year, affected by the epidemic, inflation and other factors, local food prices and commodity prices have continued to rise.
He Beiping: For example, a bowl of two kilograms, the price of rice went from 550 naira (about 8.5 yuan) last year before the city was closed to 800 naira (about 13.6 yuan) last October to 900 naira (about 15 yuan) now.
According to Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics, the country’s food inflation rate rose 21.79 percent year-on-year in February 2021, the highest in 15 years.
The Nigerian government has repeatedly taken measures such as city closure during the epidemic, which has increased the cost of goods transportation. (b) The closure of borders and the imposition of food import restrictions, resulting in a shortage of food supplies on the market; In addition, Nigeria’s currency, the naira, has depreciated by about 26% in 2020, all of which has pushed up food prices. Analysts say solving the food problem will not happen overnight.
As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, Argentina’s economy shrank by 10 percent in 2020 and inflation reached 8 percent in both the first two months of this year. Food prices, in particular, have risen sharply recently.
According to a recent Wall Street Journal report, the average price of fruit in Argentina is now up 228% compared with the second half of last year. Potatoes are up 114 per cent, the average price of meat is up 103 per cent and vegetables are up 88 per cent.
According to the World Bank, global food prices as a whole rose 20 percent in 2020 as a result of the outbreak, and prices for most major agricultural products are still generally on the rise this year. The food price index compiled by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has risen for nine straight months, reaching 116 points in February, the highest level since July 2014.
Specifically, sugar and vegetable oils were particularly strong in February, due to lower-than-expected production and tighter export supplies in some regions. For grains, dairy products and meat, the overall price index rose only modestly month-on-month in February, but the year-on-year increase in the prices of major grains was more marked. In February, international sorghum prices rose 82.1 percent, corn prices 45.5 percent and wheat prices 19.8 percent year on year.
Meat prices, although up for the fifth month in a row, are down from a year ago, with international beef and mutton prices higher in February. Pork prices, by contrast, have fallen, while dairy prices have risen for a ninth straight month and are near a 40-month high as import demand rises and dry weather cuts supplies from key exporters such as New Zealand.
Although prices continue to rise, but the United Nations food and agriculture organization (fao), the international grains council and the overall analysis of the world bank, and other agencies, the world within the scope of the main agricultural products supply and demand do not have too big problem, according to data from the international grains council, 2020/2021 of the world total grain output will be a further increase from the previous year, reached record levels, total consumption will also rise, transfer and inventory will be a certain decline, fell to lowest level for five years, but compared with the previous year, and softer.
Comparatively speaking, the food shortage is more mainly reflected at the regional and national levels, especially in some countries that are heavily dependent on imports, where food supply and price pressures are greater. This is mainly due to several factors: for example, the supply chain is unstable under the epidemic, some countries have tightened export policies, some regions are affected by weather factors, production declines, and some countries have devalued their currencies for political or economic reasons, and inflation has pushed up food prices.
The United Nations Food Program estimates that 149 million people in 79 countries face serious food security problems in 2019, and that this number could nearly double to 272 million by the end of 2020. In response to food security challenges, several international agencies have called on governments to ensure that the food trade flows around the world.
In addition, saving food, avoiding waste, etc., is also a practical action that each of us can take.