Ukraine – Russia crisis and global food crisis

The Russia-Ukraine War has Turned Egypt's Food Crisis into an Existential  Threat to the Economy | Middle East Institute

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has declared that the war in the Black Sea region is spreading shocks through most of the staple grains and vegetable oils markets across the world.

This follows the continuous Global food commodity prices in March 2022 averaged 159.3 points, and this is up to 12.6 per cent from February, making it the highest level since 1990.

According to the FAO Food Price Index (FFPI), global prices made a significant leap in March to reach their highest levels ever.

The food Organization stated that “The latest increase reflects the new all-time highs for vegetable oils, cereals and meat sub-indices, while those of sugar and dairy products also rose and is still rising significantly”.

The FFPI, a measure of the monthly change in international prices of a basket of food commodities, consists of the average of five commodity group price indices weighted by the average export shares of each of the groups over 2014-2016.

A breakdown of the FFPI shows that the cereal price index averaged 170.1 points in March, up 24.9 points from February, marking its highest level on record since 1990.

It further explained that “This month’s increase reflected a surge in world prices of wheat and coarse grains, largely driven by conflict-related export disruptions from Ukraine and, to a lesser extent, the Russian Federation.

“Vegetable oil price index averaged 248.6 points in March, up 46.9 points from February, hitting a new record high.

“The sharp rise of the index was driven by higher sunflower, palm, soy and rapeseed oil prices.”

Dairy price index averaged 145.2 points in March, up 3.7 points from February, marking the seventh consecutive monthly increase and lifting the index 27.7 points above its value a year ago.

Meat price index averaged 120.0 points in March, up 5.5 points from February, also reaching an all-time high.

The sugar price index averaged 117.9 points in March, up 7.4 points from February, reversing most of the previous three months’ decline and reaching levels more than 20 percent above those registered in the corresponding month last year.

“The March rebound in international sugar price quotations was mainly prompted by the sharp increase in international crude oil prices, which raised expectations of a greater use of sugarcane for ethanol production in Brazil in the upcoming season.”

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