Food prices increase in 2021 by 28.1% year-on-year (hit 10 years peak)

By: Dan Cooper

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The food price index of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reached an average of 125.7 points in 2021, which represents 28.1% more than the previous year, it reported today in a statement.

The FAO explained that this rate in December stood at an average of 133.7 points, which represents a decrease of 0.9% compared to November –due to the notable fall in international prices of vegetable oils and sugar from their previous high levels–, but it is still 23.1% more than in December 2020.

While high prices are normally expected to lead to an increase in output, high input costs, the current global pandemic and conditions of increasing climate uncertainty leave little room for optimism when it comes to the recovery of more stable trading conditions even in 2022,” said FAO Senior Economist Abdolreza Abbassian.


The U.N. said the cereal price index fell 0.6 percent since November on lower export wheat prices as a result of increased post-harvest supplies in the southern hemisphere that more than offset rising maize prices, supported by strong demand and concerns about Brazil’s persistent drought.

But for the year as a whole, it reached its highest level since 2012 and was on average 27.2% more than in 2020.

The vegetable oil price index declined 3.3% in December, but 2021 marked its all-time high, with a 65.8% increase from 2020.

Sugar prices fell 3.1% in December since November, but increased in 2021 by 29.8% over the previous year and reached their highest point since 2016.

The meat price index remained stable in December but was in 2021 12.7% higher than in 2020, and that of dairy products was the only sub-index that increased in December, 1.8% compared to November, while in 2021 it was 16.9% higher than in 2020.