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Global food prices rose ‘sharply’ during 2021

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The UN’s benchmark food and commodity prices index rose sharply on average through 2021, compared with the previous year, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAOinformed on Thursday. 

The agency’s Food Price Index, which tracks monthly changes in international prices, averaged 125.7 points – a 28.1 per cent increase over 2020. 

FAO Senior Economist Abdolreza Abbassian explained that, normally, high prices are expected to ease as production increases to match demand.  

This time, however, the consistently high cost of inputs, the ongoing global pandemic and ever more volatile climatic conditions “leave little room for optimism about a return to more stable market conditions even in 2022.” 

Year’s end 

At the end of the year, world food prices fell slightly, as international prices for vegetable oils and sugar fell significantly, the data shows. 

The Food Price Index averaged 133.7 points, a 0.9 per cent decline from November, but was still up 23.1 per cent from the same month the year before. Only dairy posted a rise that month.  

The Cereal Price Index also decreased 0.6 per cent; for the full year, however, it reached its highest annual level since 2012, rising 27.2 per cent. 

Biggest gainers were maize, up 44.1 per cent, and wheat, gaining 31.3 per cent. One of the world’s other key staple foods, rice, lost 4 per cent. 

Oil and sugar 

The Vegetable Oil Price Index declined 3.3 percent in December, due to lower global import demand, that may be linked to concerns over the impact of rising COVID-19 cases, which have led to delays in the supply chain. 

For the year as a whole, the Oil Index reached an all-time high, increasing 65.8 per cent compared with 2020. 

Another key staple, sugar, dropped by 3.1 per cent last month from November, reaching a five-month low. 

FAO analysts said this shows concerns over the impact of the Omicron variant on global demand as well as a weaker Brazilian Real, combined with lower ethanol prices. 

For the year as a whole, the Sugar Price Index rose 29.8 per cent, reaching its highest level since 2016. 

Meat and dairy 

The Meat Price Index was “broadly stable” in December, but rose 12.7 per cent through the year as a whole. 

Dairy was the only category where prices increased in the last month of the year, rising 1.8 per cent on November, mostly because of lower milk production in Western Europe and Oceania. 

Cheese prices declined marginally last month, but for the year overall, the Dairy Price Index averaged 16.9 per cent higher than 2020.

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Markets are bracing for more disruption while Europe reinforces ‘oil war’ against Russia

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The European Union’s  ban on Russian oil product exports is slated to kick in on Feb. 5. It is thought that the EU’s embargo on Russian petroleum products will be both more complex and more disruptive than what has come before, notes CNBC.

Europe is once again poised to ratchet up the pressure on Russia’s oil revenues, but some energy analysts are worried that the proposed measures could cause “significant market dislocations.”

As part of the European Union’s sixth package of sanctions against Russia, adopted in June last year, the 27-member bloc imposed a ban on the purchase, import or transfer of seaborne crude oil and petroleum products from Russia.

The restrictions on Russian crude oil took effect on Dec. 5, while the measures targeting Moscow’s refined petroleum products  apply from Feb. 5.

Analysts at political risk consultancy Eurasia Group warned the EU’s imminent ban “will probably have a more disruptive effect than previous EU crude-import sanctions.” “If it is introduced, it would be potentially creating more confusion in the market,” analysts at Eurasia Group said.

“We expect some disruption, especially in the immediate aftermath of the ban as EU markets continue to line up alternative supplies,” Matthew Sherwood, an analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit, told CNBC. “We also expect this to put upward pressure on prices for oil products more generally.”

Energy analysts had been skeptical about the impact of the G-7 price cap on Russian oil, particularly as Moscow had been able to reroute much of its European seaborne shipments to the likes of China, India and Turkey.

The EU urged India and China to support a price cap on Russian oil. Nonetheless, India’s oil imports were reported to have jumped to a five-month record in December as the country actively ramped up its purchases of Russian crude, while China was seen as the second largest buyer of Urals in January.

“The impact of sanctions on Russian crude exports after two months of the European Union embargo has not been as devastating as some predicted,” Stephen Brennock, senior analyst at PVM Oil Associates in London, said in a research note.

His comments come shortly after Reuters reported that oil loadings from Russia’s Baltic ports were poised to jump by 50% in January from December. “Not bad for the world’s most sanctioned country.”  

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov previously said a Western price cap on Russian oil would not affect its ability to sustain what it describes as its “special military operation” in Ukraine.

“Once the EU embargo on Russian seaborne fuel exports kicks in, we are likely to see prices for gasoline and especially diesel remain supported by tightening supply – not least if the embargo is being followed up by a $100 per barrel price cap on diesel,” Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank, said in a research note.

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How to Deal with Exam Stress and Anxiety

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The exam is breathing down your neck, saying: “Hi, it’s me, and you’d better be afraid of me!” You should definitely not be so! We are going to tell you what methods to use to overcome the stress and anxiety caused by the exam.

I draw your attention to the fact that this guide is dedicated to those who have at least learned something, on the one hand, and to those who, let’s say, have too much motivation, that is, who is waiting for the highest result.

Unfortunately, not only exams bring much stress. For example, homework can do it as well. Don’t worry – if you need to write an essay, you can get help online at EssayShark or check other similar websites here https://www.collegebasics.com/blog/online-assignment-services/. In this way, you can relax and get rid of stress.

Notes: a successful exam is not always about the one who has studied more and knows better.

Why? An exam is a test for self-control. It means that one who knows how to control himself or herself, to mobilize energy in the specific implementation of the desired action, wins, and passes the exam better than someone who is completely covered with anxiety, whose anxiety exceeds his or her ability to control himself or herself. Self-control in such situations, like any skill, can be trained.

So, let’s move on to ways to bring the anxiety to the level of “I can handle it.” On a piece of paper, write a list of your exam fears. What are you specifically afraid of? Why are you afraid of the exam? What happens if you do not pass the exam as well as you expect? I urge you to do this precisely in writing: the brain will do the work much more efficiently, trying to find a written wording, which will bring more clarity, it will be easier to deal with this in the future.

Opposite each fear, you need to write options for what you will do if this most undesirable result happens

That is, you remove an increased level of anxiety. The bottom line is that there are no hopeless situations, but we absolutely ignore it. It is important to think up reasonable options for yourself “what then?” so that irrational thoughts do not knock you out of an adequate state.

Possible fears

1.“I’m afraid that I won’t get the right amount of scores and won’t enroll in the institution I want.” Even if you don’t get the required number of scores, you still have an alternative – to enroll at another university, to another faculty — there are lots of options. What if you like the institution you could enroll? Such a list of real actions to correct the situation of the not quite expected final of the exam will help you prepare yourself for a lower result, accept it and calmly outline the ways and tasks for the future, and what to do. Such a technique will naturally lower anxiety to an acceptable level with which one can already achieve only one of his or her many heights in life.
              

2.“I’m afraid of discontent or disappointment from my parents.” Honestly, you can talk to them both before and after the exam. The conversation before: say that you need their support and not condemnation, that you are afraid to upset them. The conversation after: show them that the exam has not broken you and that you will go further and try to achieve your goals. Parents love you, their chagrin and disappointment are caused mainly by concern for you and the desire that everything worked out in your life. All normal people, including your parents, had their failures and mistakes, and they coped. You can cope; for this, you only need to help your parents continue to believe in you: do not relax, but continue to learn and work on yourself.
              

3.“I’m afraid that I can’t stand the tension, there will be a panic, and I will fail at the exam.” Remember that you already have certain personal victories, successes, and good results. Recall in memory all your successful experience and rely on it as if you already did it, and not someone else! You were the one to do it! This is called self-support.

What to do if a strong attack of anxiety begins and you start to feel that the exam turns into a nightmare and horror?

  • The easiest and most affordable option is to breathe deeply using your stomach: imagine that a balloon is inflating and deflating in your stomach. Inflate it through the nose on the count of one-two-three and blow it through the mouth, combine lips with a tubule, on the count of one-two-three-four. Do this four to six times. This will help calm the heart rate, increasing with panic.
                  
  • Our emotions are always somehow reflected in the body: facial expressions, posture, movements change. For example, our faces blush because of embarrassment, and      we stop breathing. Try to reverse the maneuver: with willpower during a panic, start smiling. The reverse mechanism will work: with a smile, joy begins to appear, something funny is remembered, the anxiety will not be able to resist and will begin to recede.
                  
  • Do not try to purposefully suppress anxiety, trying to persuade yourself to calm down. Remember that any emotion has a beginning and an end, and we must clearly   understand that this is our emotional life. Any emotion passes, fear, and anxiety will also pass – this is how the human body works.

An important point – do not be afraid to spend three to five minutes on one or more of these tricks during the exam. This is better than to be scared or panic, even more provoking within yourself the anxiety and horror of failure.

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Your brand needs to be on Twitter, here is why

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Most of us are familiar with doing business physically through stores, but with the introduction of the internet, there are new ways that businesses can showcase and sell their products or services. One of the most used avenues for that is social media which comes with many alternatives depending on the target market you are looking for. While some cater to specific age groups, others cater to multiple age groups. There’s a platform for everyone and more are still coming onto the scene.

Some popular social media platforms include Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter. Our focus is on Twitter which is a text-based platform that allows sharing of information in real-time. Many brands are leveraging the power of Twitter to increase their brand awareness that potentially could result in sales. This can only happen by drawing in more followers either by yourself or using growth services. It is very easy to buy real Twitter followers via a growth service like Twesocial, and the choice is dependent on your budget and capacity. Some of the reasons why Twitter should be on your social media platform list will be shared in this article.

Talk to Consumers

Twitter is an interactive platform. Besides sharing content about your brand, you get to interact through their different engagement features such as retweets, likes, and comments. This creates a voice behind your brand that allows users to connect. Users want to associate with brands that sound human which means they speak and respond to their queries. Due to its real-time sharing features, you also get to share as much as you can with users that helps them get to know what your brand is all about and what value it can add to them. Being communicative on Twitter will also help you build trusting relationships with your audience and create a devoted community faster. To make this process even more efficient and less time-consuming, you can also buy Twitter followers for your brand account and create your own fanbase with ease.

Drive Traffic

There are options in your profile to add different things including a bio, profile picture, and link to your website. If your bio is attractive, customers may be drawn to investigate more through your website which you should include in the profile. This means it will drive traffic toward your site. Additionally, you may add a link in responses to questions asked by users on Twitter that can direct them to sections of your site that answer their questions. This gives your website more visibility and allows users to get much more information than they may be able to find on your Twitter page.

Research Your Sector

Fortunately, Twitter has so many other businesses that may be in your niche. To understand how your niche works, you may consider doing research through Twitter on the competition to help you understand the ins and outs and guide you on what works best both on and off social media. You do not have to learn it all on your own if you can leverage social media. You can learn some marketing tactics like hosting promotions, events, using hashtags, and using videos in your tweets to boost engagement. There is a lot of benefit to using Twitter to research the best ways to market your business and stand out from the competition.

Convenience

You do not need to carry a whole marketing team with you to tweet. Since Twitter is available on mobile devices, you can take it anywhere you go including your trips, and still be able to post and engage with your customers at any time. This means you can respond to customer queries anytime and anywhere. This makes a brand more available to customers which can help it stand out in a time where people want immediate responses to their queries. Additionally, it is also free to join Twitter which makes it very affordable for any business especially those starting.

Conclusion

Twitter is a great platform once you learn how you can use it best to create awareness about your brand. It offers many features that if used right, can push your business to the next level. Since information is regularly changing on the platform, you can constantly update posts to get more engagement depending on your niche. The value you get includes convenience, a research resource, increasing website traffic, and engaging consumers.

If you want an affordable means to get the word out and interact with customers regularly, you should consider Twitter and all its features. Used correctly, the sky’s the limit for your business.

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