Food prices were at record highs in 2022, U.N. says

Key index declined slightly in December.

Global food prices reached record-high levels in 2022, the United Nations said this week, marking a sustained period of sharply elevated commodities amid historic worldwide unrest and economic turmoil.

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization said in a press release that “many commodities are still at record highs” even as overall prices declined modestly through the end of the year. 

“World prices of wheat and maize reached record highs last year,” the FAO said, “and the average value of vegetable oils hit a new record.” 

“Individual indexes for dairy and meat prices also marked their highest full-year levels since 1990,” the agency added. 

The bureau did note that both cereal and vegetable prices declined in December, though rice prices rose slightly. 

"It is important to remain vigilant and keep a strong focus on mitigating global food insecurity given that world food prices remain at elevated levels, with many staples near record highs, and with prices of rice increasing, and still many risks associated with future supplies,” FAO Chief Economist Maximo Terero said in the report.