According to the UN food agency, world food prices jumped to a new record high last month as the Russia-Ukraine conflict disrupted markets for staples grains and edible oils. The FAO food price index, jumped to 159.3 in March from a revised 141.4 reading in February – which was then already a record.
Bear in mind that Russia and Ukraine are both major exporters of items such as wheat and corn, and the ongoing war has resulted in a lot of these harvests being unable to be sowed and/or exported.
That’s a key risk to the global economy as the surging food prices will also feed into higher consumer inflation and weigh further on consumption activity. The protests in Peru recently may be a bellwether of things to come, so just be wary of how this is all impacting the world from both a social and economic perspective.
If Nancy Pelosi, as speaker of the US House of Representatives, knowingly commits a sneaky visit to Taiwan, it will be a malicious provocation to China’s sovereignty, a gross interference in China’s internal affairs, and an extremely dangerous political signal: Wang Yi.
If the US insists on going its own way, China will certainly make a resolute response, and all the consequences will be borne by the US: Wang Yi.
A busy Friday ahead into Europe. I don’t have times for all of these.
0800 GMT Bank of Spain governor Pablo Hernandez de Cos
0800 GMT Bank of Portugal Governor and ECB member Mario Centeno
1115 GMT Opening speech by member of the ECB’s Executive Board Pablo Panetta at conference
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, ECB’s Philipp R. Lane. Greek Central Banker Stournaras. EU’S Commission vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis, EU’s Commissioner for Energy are speakers in the Delphi Economic forum
EU Commissioner Ylva Johansson visits Prague. meets government officials
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz travels to London to meet British Prime Minister Boris Johnson
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier visits Finland and holds talks with his Finnish counterpart Sault Niinisto and Prime Minister Senna Marin
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen visits Kyiv
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen visits Bulgaria
Be on the alert during the session for headlines. The latest we had from the ECB:
Shipping lines have warned that a lack of trucks to shift cargo is making it impossible to clear imported goods, leaving some vessels unable to deliver their loads.
In an advisory sent to customers, Japanese carrier Ocean Network Express (ONE) said trucking availability was “very limited”, resulting in “critically high” usage of some delivery yards.
Maersk, one of the world’s biggest shipping companies, said its staff have been “working around the clock” to address issues, and is offering to let clients planning deliveries to Shanghai switch to another destination free of charge.