This week, the price of edible oil rose, raising concerns about the possibility of food costs reaching new highs. Commodities used in hundreds of food goods, such as soybean oil, saw their highest levels since 2008 on Wednesday.
To the highest level since 2008, soybean prices rose by 1.4% to 71 cents per pound. Both US canola futures and Malaysian palm oil reached fresh all-time highs this week, with the former reaching $1,434 a metric ton.
Drought has harmed this season's soybean harvests in South America. Palm and canola, their rival oil-seeds, have also been hit hard by poor weather and a lack of workers. Sunflower oil supplies from Russia and Ukraine might be jeopardized due to rising political tensions, according to Bloomberg.
According to CGS-CIMB Securities' regional head of plantation research, Ivy Ng:
Supply-side difficulties "impact all the primary producing nations, whether palm oil or a rival oil. People are reacting to the fact that there will be no short-term respite."
Goldman Sachs' Jeff Currie said earlier this month that shortages in certain commodities might cause prices to rise. Since "we are out of everything," he continued, "we are not only in extraordinarily tight markets from a physical standpoint," but "we are also not in terribly tight markets from any other perspective."
It's possible that rising prices for edible oils will set a new record for February in the FAO Food Price Index (FFPI), a measure of the monthly change in international food commodity prices. Early in March, new FFPI data will be available. For the time being, FFPI prices are approaching a record high for January.
Manzoor Trading in Lahore, Pakistan, has a director of sales named Abdul Hameed who says edible oil is in "uncharted area" and prices might rise much higher. It's a "very, very huge concern" that "the global supply and demand scenario"
"The worst has yet to come" for lower-income households in the Western world, according to John Allan, the chairman of Tesco Plc, the world's largest retailer.
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