Global food prices soar; record grain production expected

(File photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — The recent report from the World Bank provides insights into the latest developments in global food security. It reveals that food prices in Jordan have seen a minimal increase over the past few months, with August registering a modest rise of around 0.6 percent. In contrast, prices dipped slightly in July.اضافة اعلان

Food prices continue to remain elevated worldwide
Released on the September 18, the report underscores that the rate of food price inflation in the Kingdom has remained below 1.3 percent since the beginning of the year through August. However, it also highlights that food prices continue to remain elevated worldwide, Al Ghad reported.

Between May and August 2023, inflation rates in many low and middle-income countries witnessed an uptick. In fact, inflation exceeded 5 percent in 52.6 percent of low-income nations, 86 percent of lower-middle-income countries, and 64 percent in upper-middle-income countries, with many experiencing double-digit inflation rates.

Furthermore, 73.2 percent of high-income countries are grappling with rising food price inflation. The region’s most adversely affected are found in Africa, North America, Latin America, South Asia, Europe, and Central Asia.

Since the last update on July 27, agricultural and grain price indices have dropped by 6 percent and 10 percent respectively. This decline can be attributed to reduced prices of corn and wheat, which decreased by 13 percent and 24 percent, respectively.

India’s restrictions and conflict in Ukraine take center stage
The report sheds light on recent developments in agricultural commodity markets, emphasizing that India's restrictions on rice exports and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine have taken center stage. Wheat prices are still under pressure due to abundant exports from the Black Sea region. The discontinuation of the Black Sea Grain Initiative and Russian attacks on Ukrainian export facilities have led to increased market volatility, despite positive global soybean and corn production prospects for this year, including rebuilding some stocks despite droughts in Argentina, parts of Europe, and North America.

On July 20, 2023, India announced a ban on non-basmati rice exports, followed by additional restrictions on basmati rice exports on August 27, 2023. These measures have disrupted rice markets and led to price increases. The market monitoring report also highlights recent increases in agricultural input prices, especially those related to fossil fuel-based energy sources such as mineral fertilizers, raising concerns about global food security.

For the 2023-2024 season, global grain production is expected to reach record levels for key grains like wheat, corn, and rice. Factors contributing to this include Argentina's recovery from a severe drought, strong wheat production in Canada, and yield increases in China, the European Union, and India. This is anticipated to result in an unprecedented global wheat production.

Corn production is expected to hit record levels
Corn production is also expected to hit record levels, driven by positive production growth in Argentina, China, the European Union, and the United States. However, restrictions on non-basmati rice exports by India, a significant global rice exporter, have reduced rice supplies, affecting market dynamics. Nevertheless, global grain supplies are forecasted to increase by about 60 million tonnes in 2023/2024, surpassing the long-term average growth rate.

The regional impact of the El Niño phenomenon varies, with East Africa experiencing both benefits and risks from above-average rainfall, while Southeast Asia expects losses due to droughts. In Latin America, delayed planting and crop losses are observed.

Additionally, the report notes that trade-related policies implemented by countries following the Ukraine conflict have worsened the global food crisis. Many nations have imposed restrictions on food exports to boost domestic supplies and lower prices, with 19 countries implementing 27 export bans and 7 countries enacting 12 export-restricting measures as of September 11, 2023.

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