World Bank warns of rise in food, energy prices
WASHINGTON: The Russia-Ukraine conflict has dealt “a major shock” to commodity markets, altering global patterns of trade, production and consumption, the World Bank (WB) said in a report released in April.
The increase in energy prices over the past two years has been the largest since the year 1973, according to the WB’s latest Commodity Markets Outlook report, Xinhua news agency reported.
Price increases for food commodities, of which Russia and Ukraine are large producers, and fertilisers, which rely on natural gas as a production input, have been the highest since 2008, the report noted. It estimated that energy prices are expected to rise more than 50 per cent in 2022 before easing in 2023 and 2024.
The price of Brent crude oil is expected to average $100 a barrel in 2022, its highest level since 2013 and an increase of more than 40 per cent compared to 2021. Prices are expected to moderate to $92 in 2023, still well above the five-year average of $60 a barrel.
Non-energy prices, including agriculture and metals, are projected to increase almost 20 per cent in 2022 and will also moderate in the following years. Wheat prices are forecast to increase more than 40 per cent, reaching an all-time high in nominal terms this year. Metal prices are projected to increase by 16 per cent in 2022 before easing in 2023 but will remain at elevated levels.
Commodity prices are expected to remain well above the most recent five-year average, according to the report. In the event of a prolonged conflict or additional sanctions on Russia, prices could be even higher and more volatile than currently projected, it added.