The global crisis of food prices and shortages

As the Covid-19 outbreak subsides, the world faces food shortages and rising costs. Experts predict that food prices will continue to grow. Continuation of this trend could lead to severe food shortages in many countries. The famine threatens developing countries and even rich countries, and many people have turned to food storage. The global crisis of food prices and shortages has even provoked the reaction of the UN Secretary-General.Food shortages in rich countries

The global crisis of food prices and shortages has become so dangerous that even the stores of some economic powers have struggled to keep their shelves full. In the UK, where Brexit has exacerbated labour shortages, food shortages have forced even fast-food chain stores to remove popular items from their menus. Surveys by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that millions of Britons have not been able to get essential goods in recent weeks, about 17 per cent of Britons have been unable to get raw food, and 23 per cent have had trouble getting junk food. One in six Britons also reported experiencing different conditions when buying food; 43% said the variety of food had decreased, and 14% went to other stores to get the goods they needed.

Chinese and Pakistanis fear food shortages.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce’s directive to stockpile food also caused panic among the Asian people. According to the announcement, local officials were tasked with ensuring that citizens had sufficient quantities of essential items this winter and that food prices remained stable. In Pakistan, too, with food prices doubling in the past three years, 70-year record inflation has been broken, and prices for essential commodities and petroleum products have skyrocketed. Pakistani Experts causes of continuing inflation and skyrocketing costs that have gripped the people in recent months, the devaluation of the rupee against the dollar, declining exports, rising raw material prices in the manufacturing industry, unfinished negotiations with the International Monetary Fund to advance loans $6-billion as well as weak government policy to manage inflation. The global crisis of food prices and shortages has also affected Asian countries.

Expensive food in the US

The global crisis of food prices and shortages has reached the US. Reports of food shortages and high prices in the US indicate that consumers can no longer find the goods they need in stores. As the world enters its second year of the Covid-19 epidemic, most edible or non-edible supplies are rarely seen due to global disruption of the supply chain. Experts believe that supply chain inefficiencies, large volumes of goods in western US ports, including Los Angeles, widespread blackouts and global power shortages in China. The lack of truck drivers and service workers is one factor contributing to food shortages in the US. 

Expect food prices to rise.

With the global crisis of food prices and shortages, prices are expected to rise. Although economists’ forecasts for US economic growth in the last three months of 2021 are optimistic, the disruption in the supply of goods remained unresolved in the summer. In mid-autumn, billions of dollars of goods remained unresolved in western ports, including the ports of California. Food industry operators are also not optimistic about its inflation and predict it to be chronic. Kraft Heinz CEO Miguel Patricio has warned food industry giants that people should get used to higher food prices due to post-epidemic global inflation.

Decreased food production during the corona outbreak

During the epidemic, vegetable oils and agricultural products production declined in many countries, and restrictions on Covid-19 control, display, and transportation of crops were restricted. Now, although governments have resumed production, they are still unable to meet demand, and as a result, prices have risen. Higher wages and more expensive energy are also the cause.

Record-breaking increase in food prices

The global crisis of food prices and shortages has provoked reactions from international organizations. Statistics released in the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report paint a better picture of this unhealthy situation. According to the FAO, the food price index rose in October for the third month in a row, up 3 per cent from September. The FAO said that food prices rose 31.3 per cent year on year, adding that the index, which measures monthly changes in global food prices, was breaking the 2011 record.

Rising grain prices globally.

According to the FAO report, the price of wheat has increased by 5% this month for the fifth consecutive month and by 38.3% compared to last year. According to the organization, this figure has reached its highest level since November 2012. The FAO attributed the disruption to wheat supply to reduced yields in major exporting countries, particularly Canada, Russia and the US and rising prices. According to the FAO, world prices for other grains have also been increased since last month. The report adds that the cost of vegetable oils, in turn, increased by 9.6% in a month and reached its highest level. Palm oil prices rose for the fourth month in a row. The increase is mainly due to concerns about limited production in Malaysia due to a shortage of migrant workers in the country.

Growing global demand for food

The global crisis of food prices and shortages has led to growing demand worldwide. The FAO also noted that dairy prices had risen 2.6 points since September. In contrast, cheese prices remained stable, as supply from significant producer countries was sufficient to meet global import demand. According to the report, despite the decline in global beef prices, poultry and mutton prices have risen due to growing global demand and slow production. Sugar prices have fallen 1.8 per cent since September, the first downward trend in six consecutive months. 

The world is one step away from famine.

News of rising food prices, along with increased hunger and an inability to provide the minimum food supply, has led UN Secretary-General António Guterres to warn of the global crisis of food prices and shortages and the risk of famine. “Approximately three billion people, almost 40 per cent of the world’s population, cannot afford a healthy diet, and another one billion people would join their ranks should further unpredictable events reduce incomes by one-third,” he said. He added: The economic impact of the Covid-19 has made a bad situation worse. The epidemic has made it difficult for 140 million people to access food. The UN Secretary-General also wrote on his Twitter account: “41 million people in 43 countries are one step away from famine. Preventing famine is a choice. There is no time to waste.”

High inflation and high food prices in the post-COVID-19 have, on the one hand, making it difficult for rich countries to obtain essential goods and, on the other hand, increased the risk of famine among poor countries. As the Covid-19 epidemic subsides and the global vaccination program progresses, it is reported around the world that food stocks and their prices are under pressure from factors such as adverse weather conditions, supply chain disruptions, labour shortages and rising costs, and inflation. As a result, it has created many problems for consumers.

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