Global food prices are getting closer to a record high

Global food costs jumped last month, extending a march toward a record and piling more inflationary pressure on consumers and governments.

Combine harvesters unload harvested wheat grain into a truck during the summer harvest on a farm in Tersky village, near Stavropol, Russia, on July 9, 2021. Foto: Bloomberg photo by Andrey Rudakov.

A United Nations index tracking staples from wheat to vegetable oils climbed 3% to a fresh decade high in October, threatening even higher grocery bills for households that have already been strained by the pandemic. That could also add to central banks' inflation worries and risks worsening global hunger that's at a multiyear high.

Bad weather hit harvests around the world this year, freight costs soared and labor shortages have roiled the food supply chain from farms to supermarkets. An energy crisis has also proved a headache, forcing vegetable greenhouses to go dark and causing a knock-on risk of bigger fertilizer bills for farmers...

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