According to the Spanish newspaper on January 16, the consequences of the new crown virus crisis are not only public health disasters and huge economic losses. People now spend more to fill their refrigerators than at any time in the past six years. Since 2014, the price of basic food is no longer so expensive. But in recent months, the impact of the pandemic, combined with other important factors, has led to a significant increase in the prices of food and cooking oil.
According to the report, as the global pandemic has caused logistics difficulties, people were forced to stay at home and some crops could not be harvested in time. These are the main reasons for the sharp increase in basic food prices.
The report also said that data collected by the Food Price Index of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) showed that in the past year, the prices of food and edible oil have both increased by about 20%. By the end of 2020, they have reached the highest level since June 2014. This index, which measures changes in global food raw material prices, reached 108.7 points at the end of 2020, when the new crown virus was raging, and 101.5 points at the end of 2019. This is undoubtedly an astonishing increase at a time when the income of many households around the world is declining.
According to data, the price of staple foods like wheat has risen by more than 8% in the past year. Wheat futures prices hit a six-year high, reaching $6.44 per bushel (1 bushel is approximately 35.2 liters).
Other major grains (such as corn, especially soybeans) have become the protagonists of the sharp increase in prices last year. Due to the strong growth in demand in China affected by the epidemic prevention and control measures in the first half of the year, corn prices have experienced the longest increase since 1959, which was the key reason for the annual increase of 29.2%.
The report quoted data collected by FAO that food prices rose by 19.57% last year. The cereal price index reached 116.9 points, the highest level since 2013. The price of edible oil rose by 26.29%, with its price index reaching 128.9 points, a record high in the past eight years. At the same time, the prices of sugar and dairy products have been rising. According to data calculated by the agency, the price increases were 5.35% and 5.56% respectively.
The report pointed out that among the five categories analyzed by FAO, only the price of meat showed a downward trend. Meat prices fell 11.13% last year. Experts said that the main reason was that while the epidemic has led to a decline in consumer demand, the supply of meat products has continued to increase due to the increase in livestock stocks in pastures and farms.