The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) announced today that global food commodity prices rose slightly in the last quarter of 2013, decreasing food affordability in the majority of the 107 countries covered in the EIU’s Global Food Security Index.
“The Global Food Security Index brings a new dimension of evaluating key factors impacting food security,” said James C. Borel, Executive Vice President, DuPont. “The power of this data tool lies in its ability to help determine where to best dedicate limited resources and generate the most impact.”
Price Adjustment Factor Key Findings
In the quarter that just ended (December 2013), global food commodity prices rose by an estimated 1.39% from end-September, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) Food Price Index, largely owing to increases in the prices of dairy and meats, which were offset by falling sugar, cereal and oil prices.
- Once again, the largest drops in food security happened in countries experiencing political violence — Syria and Sudan. Syria had the largest drop and Sudan faced the second largest drop in food security.
- South Korea had the largest improvement in food security. Its overall food security rank rose two spots to 23rd. Its rank for food affordability rose from 26th to 22nd.
- Western European food affordability improved in the fourth quarter. Food security improved in 50% (13 of 26) of the European countries included in the Index, representing over a third of all countries that experienced improvements in food security. Western Europe benefited from its modest economic recovery and the strengthening of the euro.
- East Asia and Pacific, and Europe and Central Asia were the only two regions to experience an overall improvement in food security during the quarter. Their respective regional scores rose by 0.18 (to 61 out of 100) and 0.06 (to 70), leaving the regions ranked third and second (out of seven), respectively, behind North America.
- Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) had the largest decline in food security. The region’s score fell by 0.12 to remain in the fourth position. This contrasts with LAC’s performance last quarter when all countries, except Chile, experienced an improvement in food security.
- Sub-Saharan Africa remained the lowest scoring region. Its score fell by 0.1 from the previous quarter to 33.3. Only five Sub-Saharan African countries (Benin, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and Sierra Leone) out of 28 experienced improvements in food security during the fourth quarter.
“The global economy will strengthen in 2014, led by the richer countries,” said Leo Abruzzese, Global Forecasting Director for the EIU. “While that could increase food demand, many of the emerging markets are not growing as rapidly as they once did. With generally strong food production and high stocks, we don’t see prices rising for staples this year, a good sign for food security.”
To read the full release and EIU findings, and to explore the Global Food Security Index online, visit http://foodsecurityindex.eiu.com/.
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.