Global food prices reach highest level in 7 years in January, UN says

Global food commodity prices in January 2021 reached their highest level in nearly seven years, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations reported on Thursday, TASS reports.

The FAO noted that the rise in world food prices continues for the eighth month in a row.

"FAO's Food Price Index, which tracks monthly changes in the international prices of commonly-traded food commodities and was released today, averaged 113.3 points in January, marking a 4.3 % increase from December 2020 and reaching its highest level since July 2014," FAO said in a press release.

Global food prices rise in January was led by cereals, vegetable oils and sugar.

In January, the FAO Cereal Price Index showed "a sharp 7.1 % monthly increase, led by international maize prices, which surged 11.2 % and are now 42.3 % above their January 2020 level," FAO said.

"Wheat prices rose 6.8 %, driven by strong global demand and expectations of reduced sales by the Russian Federation when its wheat export duty doubles in March 2021," according to the document.

The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index increased by 5.8 % in the month to its highest level since May 2012.

"Drivers included lower-than-expected palm oil production in Indonesia and Malaysia due to excessive rainfall and ongoing shortages in the migrant labor force, and prolonged strikes in Argentina reducing export availability for soy oil," the organization reported.

The FAO Sugar Price Index was 8.1 % higher than in December, the FAO Dairy Price Index increased by 1.6 %, the FAO Meat Price Index was up 1.0 % from December.


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