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Global food prices have increased at their fastest monthly rate in over a decade, according to the United Nations, and concerns are growing that high inflation and higher grocery bills will impact the world’s economic recovery.

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) food price index, food was 39.7 per cent more expensive in May 2021 than it was in 2020.

All five components of the index – cereal prices, vegetable oil prices, dairy prices, meat prices, and sugar prices – rose during the month, with the costs of vegetable oils, grain and sugar rising by the most.

Source: FAO Food Price Index

This pushed the index to its highest level since September 2011.

The increased costs are due to an increase in demand in some countries along with a backlog of production.

COVID-related restrictions on movement have caused market and supply disruptions, which in turn have led to local shortages and higher prices.

May’s price increase represents the 12th consecutive month the FAO has recorded an increase in food prices.

The monthly FAO Food Price Index is based on worldwide prices for 23 food commodity categories covering 73 different products compared to a baseline year.

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