Summary

An oft-overlooked aspect of the COVID-19 pandemic has been its effect on global food production.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) food index, which reflects prices of a basket of agricultural staples like cereals, oilseeds, dairy, sugar, and meat, has now increased for six months running. November’s reading of 105 was four points up from the month before – the biggest month-on-month jump since July 2012.

Cereals, sugar, and vegetable oil saw the biggest price gains, the last of which jumped 14.5% month-on-month (a “stunning” increase according to the FAO report). Meat and dairy products also increased in price, albeit slightly.

Food prices now stand at their highest level since December 2014.