In May, the FAO Food Price Index declined by 0.6 percent from the previous month, driven by the drop in vegetable oils, sugar and dairy prices, while meat and cereal prices rose. The Index is still 22.8 percent above May 2021 levels.
The war in Ukraine has pushed prices of agricultural products to historically high levels, and concerns about global food security occupy headlines and world leaders’ minds, as demonstrated by recent IMF and World Bank meetings. So far, much of the attention has focused on grains, particularly wheat—because of its importance in diets, and the predicament of countries where wheat accounts for a large share of calories consumed, is largely imported, and is dominated by supplies from the Black Sea.
With the Russia-Ukraine conflict disrupting global supply chains, roiling markets and raising food and fuel prices, some governments have responded with restrictions on agricultural exports. While these policies may be domestically appealing, however, they have wider ramifications for global food prices and food security, according to the May AMIS Market Monitor. The report emphasizes that restrictive trade measures like export restrictions will further limit available food stocks, raise food and fuel prices even higher, and push poor populations into more acute food security.
In March, the FAO Food Price Index experienced another surge to reach the highest level since its 1990 inception. The Index rose by 12.6 percent from February, driven by all-time highs for vegetable oil, cereal, and meat prices.
As global food prices continue to rise and concerns grow over potential supply disruptions in the Black Sea region, policymakers and development practitioners are beginning to analyze the implications for global food markets and the potential for food crises. On March 5, 2022, the Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS) called an extraordinary meeting of the AMIS Rapid Response Forum.