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Global Food Import Bill Set for Record, Taking Toll on Poorest

  • Food purchases set to rise about 3% to $1.81 trillion in 2022
  • Least-developed countries cut back on buying as costs surge
Food imports are expected to total $1.81 trillion this year.

Food imports are expected to total $1.81 trillion this year.

Photographer: Asad Zaidi/Bloomberg

The global food import bill is set to reach a fresh record in 2022, but surging prices mean buyers will barely be getting any more for the money. 

Food imports are expected to total $1.81 trillion this year, surpassing an all-time high set last year by $51 billion, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization said in a report Thursday. Almost all of that is because of inflation, which is worsening a cost-of-living crisis in developed nations and deepening hunger in poorer countries.