Global Food Import/Export News Highlights – April 2021

2 min read
2 min read

Fears of surging food inflation

According to Bloomberg, the usual grocery basket will soon have people dig deeper into their pockets as essential food ingredients like wheat, corn or vegetable oils, as well as many other products, will cost significantly more considering the prices of crops have risen to the highest level since 2012.

Rising commodity prices are a global threat, setting financial pressure yet again, especially on poorer countries who already struggle with recovering from the damage of the coronavirus pandemic. The increase in prices seems to have been mainly fueled by China`s booming import demand for livestock feed, as well as unfavourable weather conditions on crops around the world. The grocery bill has already been reported to be more expensive in Mexico, Brazil and the United States and the volatile situation of food inflation is forecasted to persist for a while, despite many governments fighting to leverage the situation.

South Korea to increase egg imports

The avian flu outbreak reported in Europe and Asia earlier this year is driving South Korea to import 40 million eggs this month, a doubled quantity of eggs than usual. The government announced to maintain the import agreement in the following months, to leverage egg prices that began to rise due to farms being affected by the bird flu. Until June 30, the nation has removed import duties on eggs and related products as a temporary solution to ease the avian flu induced egg shortage.

Food import bans to take effect/be lifted

Already under economic pressure, Lebanon is now losing a significant deal worth about $24 million per year as Saudi Arabia declared an import ban on fruits and vegetables from Lebanon. Taking effect on Sunday, the current ban lies on the grounds of shipments being used to smuggle drugs through the country and will remain valid until the Lebanese government provides enough measures and guarantees to resolve the problem and prevent the conflict in the future. Other Arab states, including UAE, Oman and Kuwait supports Saudi Arabia`s decision to ban the importation of fresh produce from Lebanon, in an effort to combat drug smuggling.

In other news, the government of Lesotho has recently lifted the ban on vegetable import imposed in February this year, established to favour the local producers against importers. Due to a current rise in demand for the restricted importation of fresh produce that is also driving up the prices, agribusinesses are now allowed to continue the importation of fresh produce into the country.

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