Food imports costs across the world are expected to surge to record levels this year, piling pressure on many of the poorest countries whose economies have already been ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.N. Food Agency said on Thursday.
These high costs may persist for a sustained period as nearly all agricultural commodities have become more expensive, while a rally in energy markets could raise farmers’ production costs, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said.
“The problem is not the world facing higher prices,” Josef Schmidhuber, deputy director of the FAO’s trade and markets division, told Reuters.
“The issue is vulnerable countries.”
The world’s food import bill, including shipping costs, is projected to reach $1.715 trillion this year, up 12% from $1.530 trillion in 2020, the FAO said in its twice-yearly Food Outlook report on Thursday.
While growth in agricultural trade during the pandemic has shown the resilience of international markets, price rises since late 2020 are raising risks for some import-dependent states, it...read more...