Increase seen in global food prices

The United Nations food agency is reporting that global food prices rose for an eighth consecutive month in January.

Prices were at their highest since July 2014 as economies continued to battle fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some governments are taking action to tackle surging domestic food prices, although such moves drive global values higher by reducing supplies for international markets.

The consequence is already evident in grain prices, such as corn, hitting multi-year highs.

In December, the World Bank said food price increases, combined with reduced incomes, had aggravated chronic and acute hunger, hitting vulnerable households in almost every country.

In a statement, the Food and Agriculture Organization said worldwide cereal harvests remained on course for an annual record in 2020, but warned of  a sharp fall in stocks and signalled unexpectedly large import demands from China.

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