Poor weather and geopolitical concerns are key factors, along with a 7.5 percent increase in cereals prices
Food security fell in nearly 70 percent of countries in the first quarter of 2014 as the global price of grains, sugar and other farm commodities rose at the fastest pace in 18 months, according to The Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) Global Food Security Index (GFSI).
“Food prices jumped in February and March as the political crisis in Ukraine, an important grain producer, worsened,” said Leo Abruzzese, Global Forecasting Director for the EIU. “We haven’t seen much in the way of actual supply disruptions yet, but market prices move quickly on any hint of risk. Food prices have also been pushed higher by dry conditions in some key growing regions around the world.”
The Index, commissioned by DuPont to deepen the dialogue on food security, is prepared annually and evaluates the affordability, availability and quality of food across 107 countries. Each quarter, the Index is adjusted to reflect the impact of global food price fluctuations on each country’s food security. The adjustment is based, in part, on the quarter-on-quarter price change in the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) food commodity basket; prices climbed 3.4 percent in the three months ended March 2014 from the prior quarter.
- Rising global food prices pushed down food security for more than two-thirds of countries in the first quarter of 2014.
- Sugar and cereals prices rose the most over the past quarter, increasing by 8.1% and 7.5%, respectively.
- Geopolitical concerns contributed to rising wheat and corn prices.
Read the full update and learn more about the Index online, http://foodsecurityindex.eiu.com/.