February 25, 2021

Green Blog: Tracking the Global Food Situation

A worker loading rice onto a ship in Jakarta, Indonesia, where food prices have soared recently.ReutersA worker loading rice this week onto a ship in Jakarta, Indonesia, where food prices have soared recently. Globally, prices of staple grains rose 2.2 percent in August.Green: Politics

The latest numbers suggest that the situation with the global food supply continues to be deeply worrisome.

In its monthly report on food prices, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations reported that August prices were virtually flat, down just a fraction of a percent from July. The index is now down 7 percent from its record high in February —but still 26 percent above the level of August 2010.

That overall number obscures changes within the components of the index. For instance, while commodities like oils and dairy products are falling, prices rose 2.2 percent in August for staple grains, which supply the bulk of human calories and on which many of the world’s poor depend. Those prices are now 36 percent above the levels of a year ago.

The report showed that producers are responding to high prices by trying to raise output but are having a hard time catching up with rising demand. As readers of our article from earlier this year will not be surprised to learn, one of the reasons is erratic weather in many countries, including this summer’s floods and heat waves in the United States.

The F.A.O. warned last month that this year’s cereal production might not “be sufficient to result in any recovery in the level of global cereal stocks,” which are at low levels.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=eab9da4b94aa72160e4e0663d900a7ea

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