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  • People wait in line during a food handout on day 160 of the national lockdown as a result of Covid-19 Coronavirus, in Johannesburg, South Africa, 03 September 2020.

    People wait in line during a food handout on day 160 of the national lockdown as a result of Covid-19 Coronavirus, in Johannesburg, South Africa, 03 September 2020. | Photo: EFE/EPA/ Kim Ludbrook

Published 4 September 2020
Opinion

Food prices have been rising for three consecutive months and sugar and oil trade are the most benefited.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported on Thursday that food prices worldwide reached in August the highest figures since February as the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a spike on demand for grains, cereals, vegetable oils, and sugar.

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FAO: World Food Prices Rise Again In July

Food prices have been rising for three consecutive months to the point that the most commonly traded food commodities averaged 96.1 points in August, an increment of 2.0 points compared to July and the highest level since February.

The FAO explained that a "weaker U.S. dollar provided support to international prices of most agricultural commodities," and sugar and oil trade were the most benefited last month. However, the prices of cereals remained steady.

The oil price index shows a 98.7 points increment in Agust as well as a high demand for palm oil, followed by soy, sunflower seed, and rapeseed oil. According to the FAO, this mainly reflects "prospective production slowdowns in leading producing countries." However, there has been "a robust" demand for Sunflowerseed oil in China.

Furthermore, the sugar value rose to  81.1 points and has increased for the last three months due to a decrease in production caused by "unfavorable weather conditions in the EU as well as in Thailand, the world's second-largest sugar exporter," the report explains.

On the other hand, sorghum, barley, maize, and rice are the most valued cereals while China is importing most of the sorghum. At the same time, barely prices also increased, favored by an increment in exports from Argentina and China.

Nevertheless, meat and dairy prices showed only slight changes compared to the levels of June and July, respectively. 

 
  

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