Currency depreciations intensifying food, energy crisis
Because of currency depreciations, almost 60 percent of oil-importing emerging-market and developing economies saw an increase in domestic-currency oil prices.
The shrinking value of the currencies of most developing economies is driving up food and fuel prices in ways that could deepen the food and energy crises that many of them already face. This is according to the World Bank’s latest Commodity Markets Outlook report.
In U.S. dollar terms, the prices of most commodities have declined from their recent peaks amid concerns of an impending global recession, the report documents. Between February 2022 and September, the price of Brent crude oil in U.S. dollars fell nearly 6 percent.
However, because of currency depreciations, almost 60 percent of oil-importing emerging-market and developing economies saw an increase in domestic-currency oil prices during this period. Nearly 90 percent of these economies also saw a larger increase in wheat prices in local-currency terms compared to the rise in U.S. dollars.
Food-price inflation averaged more than 20 percent in Asia South during the first three quarters of 2022. It averaged between 12 and 15 percent in other regions, including Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
East Asia and the Pacific has been the only region with low food-price inflation, partly because of broadly stable prices of rice, the region’s key staple.
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