Basic foods like Mexican tortillas have become more expensive around the world – Copyright AFP/File SAM PANTHAKY
Consumers and businesses around the world are facing higher prices for everything from beloved Mexican flatbread to aluminum cans used by beer companies.
Inflation jumped after countries emerged from Covid lockdowns and spiked after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with the IMF expecting global consumer prices to rise by 8.3 percent this year.
Here’s a look at how high prices affect the world:
– Fuel –
The invasion of Ukraine by Russia, the world’s third largest oil producer, has undermined crude oil prices.
The main international contract Brent North Sea has almost reached $140 per barrel, but has now fallen below $100.
Gasoline prices followed suit, climbing to over two euros a liter in the eurozone and above five dollars a gallon in the United States before falling again in recent weeks.
Natural gas has also become more expensive, especially in Europe, where electricity prices have reached record levels in Germany and France.
Energy prices in the euro area rose by 38.3 percent in August compared to the same month last year.
Higher energy prices are spreading throughout the economy as they affect the production and transportation costs of companies.
– Pasta, beans and tortillas –
The war sent food prices skyrocketing as the war disrupted grain exports from Ukraine, the main supplier of wheat and sunflower oil, to countries around the world.
In May, Allianz calculated that pasta prices in the eurozone had risen 19% over the previous 18 months.
In Canada, another major exporter of wheat, the price of a 500-gram pack rose 60 cents in July from the same month last year to CAD$3.16, according to official data.
In Thailand, the price of state-controlled instant noodles rose in August for the first time in 14 years, up 17 percent to seven baht (20 US cents).
The price of cornmeal, used to make tortillas in Mexico — a staple used for tacos and other dishes — has risen about 13 percent from a year ago and has contributed to high inflation over the past two decades.
Pinto beans, Brazil’s staple, cost almost 23 percent more in August than they did at the same time last year.
– Meat –
As grain became more expensive, it became more expensive to feed livestock, and farmers in turn raised their prices.
Pork, the most popular meat in China, was 22% more expensive in August than last year.
The Chinese authorities are considering using their strategic pork stocks for the second time this year to stabilize prices.
In Argentina, ground beef patties are popular because their prices have traditionally been low, but they have risen by three-quarters in the past 12 months.
The country currently has one of the highest inflation rates in the world, at 56.4 percent in the first eight months of the year.
In Europe, chicken prices have skyrocketed as farmers struggled with bird flu in addition to cost pressures. Wholesale prices rose by a third in August compared to the same month last year.
– Beer –
Brewers were hit not only by rising grain prices, but also by aluminum cans and glass beer bottles.
That’s 70 percent more expensive than before the war in Ukraine, according to the trade association of European brewers.
Heineken, the world’s second largest brewing group, has raised prices by an average of 8.9% in the first half of this year.
AB InBev, the world’s largest brewer whose beers include Budweiser and Corona, has increased prices by eight percent, Bloomberg estimates.
In the UK, the cost of a pint has risen above four pounds ($4.6), the highest price since 1987, according to the British Office for National Statistics.
– Newspapers –
Paper prices rose as demand surged after the lockdown ended. Printing is an energy intensive process.
Several French dailies raised their prices earlier this year, as did a number of British papers such as the Sun, the Times and the Sunday Mail.
Others have reduced the number of pages.
In Europe as a whole, newspaper prices rose by 6.5% in July, according to official figures.