Due to a surge in energy and fertilizer prices stemming from the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, global food prices were 14.3 percent higher in 2022 than a year earlier, the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced on Friday.
The FAO Food Price Index, which tracks monthly changes in the international prices of commonly-traded food commodities, averaged 143.7 points in 2022, up 14.3% from 2021, and the highest since records started in 1990.
In 2022, the FAO's data show cereal prices are up by 17.9 percent from 2021, vegetable oil prices are up by 13.9 percent, dairy prices are up by 19.6 percent, meat prices are up by 10.4 percent, and sugar prices are up by 4.7 percent.
In December last year, the FAO Food Price Index dipped 1.9 percent than the previous month, registering its ninth consecutive monthly decline. But the index surged so sharply during the first months of the year that it concluded 2022 far above the 2021 year’s average.
According to the FAO, the decline in the index in December was driven by a drop in the international price of vegetable oils, together with some declines in cereal and meat prices. Although, the FAO recorded slight increases in the prices of sugar and dairy.
The FAO has repeatedly warned that rising food prices threatened global food security, particularly in poor countries.