Experts: Need to Get Used to Paying More for Food

The coronavirus pandemic has crippled economic growth, and concerns about hunger and malnutrition are growing worldwide. Bloomberg writes that all this happens at the most inopportune moment.

So, in Indonesia, tofu bean curd has become 30% more expensive than in December. In Brazil, the price of black beans, a staple food, rose 54% from January last year. In Russia, consumers pay 61% more for sugar than a year ago, the newspaper notes.

Emerging markets are feeling the impact of a sharp rise in commodity prices, and all mass-market products – from oil to grains – are soaring up due to the expectations of the “Roaring 20s” – economic recovery from the pandemic, as well as overly loose monetary policy.

Consumers in the United States, Canada and Europe will also be hit as companies – already under pressure from pandemic disruptions and rising shipping and packaging costs – are doing their best to cope with rising prices.

“People will have to get used to paying more for food,” says Sylvain Charlebois, head of the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University in Canada. “This will only get worse.

Food inflation is always a negative factor, and its new wave will be especially tough. As the coronavirus pandemic has crippled the growth of the global economy, new concerns have emerged about hunger and malnutrition – even in the world’s richest countries.

Meanwhile, prices for staple foods such as cereals, sunflower seeds, soybeans and sugar have increased significantly, and as a result, global food prices in January reached their highest level in six years. They are unlikely to decline anytime soon due to a combination of bad weather, increased demand and disrupted global supply chains.