Global food prices ease in April

There’s a little bit of good news about global food prices – they declined slightly in April after rising steeply in March.

However the cause of rising food prices – the impact of the Ukraine conflict on the prices and supply of fuel, feed and fertiliser – has not gone away.

The UN’s Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) reported that its food price index dropped 0.8% in April from its all-time high in March. The index remained nearly 30% higher than in April 2021,  “posing a challenge to global food security for the most vulnerable,” said Mazimo Torero Cullen, FAO chief economist.

The sharply rising price of chicken feed could cause an egg shortage in Britain, according to a report by the Poultry Network. Because of higher feed prices, egg farmers have been cutting back, and fewer chicks are being placed.

“We have got rearing sheds empty, and we have got farms empty. Other big packers have taken millions of birds out, and it’s an 18-month cycle,” said egg producer-packer Elwyn Griffiths. “We cannot supply some of our customers now until Jan/Feb/Mar next year.”

He said this was a consequence of the war in Ukraine in a “truly global market”.