Soaring food prices are making global headlines. The lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, supply chain disruptions, and escalating energy and fertilizer prices are creating a “perfect storm” of global food price inflation. The World Bank’s food commodity price index—which tracks price movements for oils and meals, grains, and other foods—reached a record high in March–April 2022, up by more than 80 percent compared to two years ago.
The extent to which global food prices affect headline inflation depends not just on the extent of food import dependence, but also on factors such as the weight of food items in the overall consumer price index, and the degree of pass-through of food import prices to domestic food prices (including whether there are price controls or administered prices for food, or other policies such as export restrictions on domestic food production). This note examines the links between rising global food prices and inflation in the ASEAN+3 region.