Rising global food prices

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In a frequently asked questions section, the Farm Service Agency said the payments relate to “decades of well-documented discrimination against farmers and ranchers socially disadvantaged by the USDA.” The USDA acknowledged the lawsuit in Florida over the debt relief effort, but continued its efforts to prepare to make the payments.

“Borrowers must continue to submit documents (signed letters of offer) and USDA will continue to accept and process these letters,” the agency noted. “The USDA will be ready to provide the debt relief authorized by Congress as soon as possible, depending on the pending litigation.” But the USDA said the payment schedule will be updated once they “receive updates regarding this dispute.”

The USDA’s initial expectation was that when a signed letter of offer was received by the agency, it would take three weeks to repay a loan and make a payment to a borrower.

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) also issued guidance to state and county offices for the farm storage facility loan debt cancellation effort (FSFL), but said that action guidelines for the Agricultural Loan Program (FLP) would be provided at a later date.


Washington Insider: Rising Global Food Prices

Food prices are always a hot topic and have resurfaced this year. As the global economy emerges from the pandemic, food prices in several countries have shown significant increases, with The Washington Post highlighting the situation in Russia, Nigeria and Argentina.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) will update its world food price index this week after a month’s hike pushed world food prices down food prices according to their food price index at the highest level since 2011.

“A variety of factors are to blame, including an increase in orders from China, fluctuating oil prices, a declining and looming US dollar foremost: the pandemic and, in some places, the reopening,” the Post noted. However, they also noted that “world prices, like the FAO indices, and the price paid by a consumer are rarely synchronized”.

And others are starting to mention climate change as a potential long-term factor for the food price outlook.

In Nigeria, the Post details that the prices of a pot of jollof rice have increased, with the rice component increasing by 10%, the price of a small box of tomatoes used to prepare the dish has increased by 29% and onion prices rose by one. third, according to a Nigerian research firm. In fact, the article notes that the price of onions in Lagos, Nigeria has doubled and that there have been heists targeting onions.

Border closures decreed during the pandemic have tightened food supplies as well as the devaluation of the Nigerian currency.

In Russia, the world’s largest wheat exporter, pasta prices have increased significantly. This has boosted the basic borscht with vegetables, meat, dairy and pasta. In total, ingredient prices have increased by around 12% since before the pandemic. But pasta prices have caught the attention of President Vladimir Putin who has denounced people for eating “navy pasta”, a Soviet-era dish eaten during hard times. “It is unacceptable,” Putin said, “with such large harvests”.

The situation has seen export limits on wheat and other grains as well as price controls on pasta. But even these actions have not come as a relief to Russian consumers, as poll results released this spring ranked food prices as the country’s biggest problem by 58% of Russians.

But these government actions can only work for so long, and the government’s heavy hand often leads to problems that come back and potentially become even more serious.

Enter Argentina, where the country’s beef has been a key example of the food price situation. Over the past year, the price per kilogram of ribs has increased by more than 90%, according to the Institute for the Promotion of Argentine Beef.

The situation reached a point where the country chose to suspend all beef exports for a month and they came to an agreement on the resumption of these exports, but only at 50% of the previous volume until the end of the l ‘year.

But developing countries in particular are wary and sometimes outright afraid of increases in food prices. Hungry citizens become disgruntled citizens and this can put great pressure on governments to take action to deal with these rising costs.

Here in the United States, commodity prices have risen this year due to a surge in Chinese demand for corn and other grains, as the country seeks to ensure it has enough fodder to produce meat and other proteins for its expanding economy. Add to this dry conditions in areas like the Northern Plains where hard red spring wheat and durum, the latter being the main wheat used for making pasta, and wheat prices have skyrocketed across the country. Minneapolis futures market.

Indeed, consumers here face higher costs. The USDA has raised its forecast for headline food price inflation and its outlook for home (grocery) and out-of-the-home (restaurant) food prices. Headline food price inflation is now estimated to be between 2.5% and 3.5% in 2021, up from their forecast a month ago that food price inflation would be 2% in 2021. 3%. Grocery store prices are now expected to rise 2% to 3% in 2021 compared to their forecast a month ago that grocery store prices would rise 1.5% to 2.5%. Restaurant prices are now up 3% to 4% from 2020 levels, an increase from previous forecast of 2.5% to 3.5% higher.

The updated forecast also means that prices are expected to rise for all three categories above their 20-year average. These averages are 2.4% for all food prices, 2.8% for restaurant prices and 2% for grocery store prices.

Even with the latest USDA forecast increase, food prices in 2021 are not yet expected to rise as much as in 2020. The pandemic obviously takes the price situation into account. But, in the United States, through 2020 and now into 2021, consumers have seen grocery store prices rise less than the 20-year average or decline between 2015 and 2019.

So we’ll see. The food price situation in the United States is on the rise, but other countries are seeing even greater impacts. But the situation needs to be watched closely, especially if major trading partners choose to try and keep more supplies at home, as this could open up market opportunities for U.S. growers, Washington Insider believes.


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