In May, the FAO Food Price Index reached its highest level since October 2017. This month’s increase was driven by dairy and cereal prices. The Index has risen continually in 2018.

Photo Credit: David Stanley

The FAO Food Price Index remained nearly unchanged in April; however, cereal and dairy prices continued to rise.

The Cereal Price Index rose 1.7 percent from March, reaching almost 16 percent higher than its April 2017 levels. This is the fourth consecutive month of such increases, which are being driven largely by weather-related fears for wheat and maize and government purchases in Indonesia and the Philippines for rice.

Photo Credit: PROEmilio Küffer

Global wheat and maize prices rose for the third consecutive month in March, according to the latest FPMA Bulletin from FAO. This increase brings prices more than 10 percent above their December 2017 levels.

Prolonged dry weather in the United States drove much of the price increases for wheat, as did concerns about cold and wet weather in some parts of Europe. Dry weather in Argentina contributed to maize price increases. Global demand for these commodities also remained strong in March, further driving up prices.

Photo Credit: GlobalDev

By Shenggen Fan
This piece was originally published on the GlobalDev blog.

The world’s urgent humanitarian assistance needs continued to grow in 2017, according to the 2018 Global Report on Food Crises. An estimated 124 million people across 51 countries currently face crisis-level or worse food insecurity, up from 104 million people across 48 countries in 2016.

Photo Credit: Jamed Falik/IFPRI

The world will continue to face major challenges from political and economic uncertainty, conflict, and climate change in 2018 and beyond, and the rising trend of anti-globalization in some developed countries could hamper the ability of policymakers to respond to these challenges. The result could be slowed progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and food and nutrition security, especially in developing countries.

Photo Credit: IFPRI/Farha Khan

The latest version of FAO’s Monthly Report on Food Price Trends (FPMA) was recently released. The February report shows global cereal prices have increased overall since the start of 2018.

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The Green Revolution in Asia in the 1960s led to increased production of staple food crops like rice and wheat, which reduced hunger and boosted incomes and overall economic growth. However, according to a new study published in Global Food Security, this progress has been slow to translate from food security, focused on quantity of food, to nutrition security, focused on quality of food.

Photo Credit: Débora Casali

The FAO Food Price Index remained steady in January and fell three percent from its January 2017 levels.

The Cereal Price Index rose almost 2.5 percent in January, reaching 6.3 percent above its year-earlier levels. The increase was driven mostly by wheat and maize prices; despite ample supplies, the price of these crops increase due to a weakening US dollar and concerns over weather. Strong demand from Asia also continued to drive up global rice prices in January.

Photo Credit: IFPRI Images

Recent years have observed a constant increase of obesity and overweight rates in developing countries, coexisting with lingering rates of wasting and stunting. Around the world, almost a billion people are suffering from hunger and over 2 billion have nutrition deficiencies, but at the same time, almost 2 billion are overweight or obese. The question of malnutrition has thus transitioned toward diet composition rather than just insufficient caloric intake.

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