The World Trade Organization (WTO) has said that world food prices reached a peak in the spring of 2022 and have subsequently fallen for 10 consecutive months.
This fall, WTO said would suggest that “food markets are stabilizing after the initial shock associated with the start of the war in Ukraine.”
At the same time, the food insecurity outlook remains serious and will require continued vigilance, it added.
The WTO suggested that transparency in the implementation of trade measures is essential.
In this regard, the WTO Trade Monitoring Exercise, the various relevant WTO notification requirements, and the peer review by WTO Members will continue to play central roles, a report issued on Thursday, March 2 said.
Notably, it added, only 13 export restrictions initiated following the beginning of the war were notified to the WTO i.e., around 14% of the total number of measures identified during this period.
“This suggests that further progress can be achieved to enhance compliance with WTO notification requirements.”
“Ensuring transparency and proportionality in the context of the implementation of export restrictions remains imperative as they provide predictability and reduce uncertainty in international markets, especially during the current polycrisis,” the report said.
During the first three months following the outbreak of the war, export restrictions mainly targeted a relatively limited range of agricultural products, including various grains (both for human consumption and animal feed), sugar, vegetable oils and fertilizers.
Initially, this was seen through export bans on these products by the Russian Federation and Ukraine.
Later, in the summer of 2022, when the food crisis accelerated, the scope of export restrictions expanded to a much wider range of agricultural products, including rice, poultry, and poultry products (eggs), meat, dairy products, fruits, and vegetables.
Although the rise in export restrictions on food and fertilizers since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine has been linked to turbulence on the international markets, in particular with respect to growing food insecurity, WTO members and observers have also introduced several import-facilitating measures for these products.