Warning! Food deficit expected to increase as prices soar across Africa

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We have been echoing this for weeks: the prices of global food products are rising sharply! And FAO’s latest biannual report Food Outlook  is not reassuring: these prices are expected to remain high for some time ” in a context of uncertainties about supply and demand “.

And the FAO warns: as a result of this higher price, the increase in the share of food imports in all imports may be a harbinger of crises likely to occur in some regions. Everyone remembers the global social crises of 2008. In addition, in so-called “ vulnerable ” countries such as African countries, “ these additional expenses could mask an unfavorable development of diets in terms of quantity and quality ”.

Africa: Estimated Changes in Import Spendingof food products in 2021 vs. 2020
image Agri News Africa
Import spending up 20%

As a result, the import expenditure of low-income, food-deficit countries would increase by 20%, an increase five times faster than that expected in the group of least developed countries.

Why this outbreak? Because the demand is strong. ” Contrary to widely held forecasts of a collapse in international food markets, trade flows continued to record new records during the Covid-19 pandemic ,” says the FAO.

The value of exports of agricultural and food products increased by nearly $ 52 billion in 2020 compared to the previous year (+ 3.2%), 40% of this increase being attributable to developing countries. And in 2021, global agricultural trade is expected to grow even more, to + 8% ($ 137 billion), mainly due to East Asia and the recovery of China’s livestock sector after the crisis. of African swine fever.

Public purchases of rice in Africa will resume

So, of course, world production should increase for the main food products during the coming year, with the exception of sugar which should decrease for the third consecutive year and be lower than world consumption; it will undoubtedly be necessary to draw on stocks. If the global supply of wheat and rice is strong, stocks of coarse grains are expected to weaken despite record global production in 2021, due to a large use of stocks for animal feed. and the starch industry. In Africa, rice production will increase by 1% in 2021, according to the FAO, to 25.6 Mt, in particular thanks to better yields in Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Senegal . Having said that,rice in Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and Nigeria are expected to pick up.

By the end of the year, the global stock-to-use ratio is expected to stand at 38% for wheat, up from the five-year average, stabilize at 35.1% for rice and decline to 20.8% for coarse grains.

Global meat production is forecast to increase by 2.2% in 2021 to 346 million tonnes (Mt). This increase is attributable to an anticipated rebound in China.

Global fish production should rebound and prices should appreciate due to the recovery in restaurant demand after a year of restrictions linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, especially for small pelagics such as sardines, anchovies, mackerel, but also tuna.

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