Prices of food around the world increased for the fourth consecutive month in November to remain at 10-year highs. The increase was led by strong demand for wheat and dairy products, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations reported last Thurday.
The FAO Food Price Index, which tracks monthly changes in the international prices of commonly-traded food commodities, averaged 134.4 points last month. The index is up 1.2% from October and 27.3% higher than its level in the same month 2020.
Among the calculated commodities, the highest increases were seen in cereals and dairy, followed by sugar. Meat and vegetable oils were down slighting from the previous month.
The FAO's cereal price index rose by 3.1% in November from the previous month and was 23.2% higher than its year-ago level, with wheat prices hitting their highest level since May 2011.
The FAO said the rise in wheat prices was the result of concerns about untimely rains in Australia and uncertainty over potential changes to export measures in Russia.
The dairy price index saw the largest monthly rise, up 3.4% from the previous month.
"Strong global import demand persisted for butter and milk powders as buyers sought to secure spot supplies in anticipating of tightening markets," the FAO said.
The global sugar prices rose 1.4% in November and was up nearly 40% compared to the same period last year, the FAO said, adding that "the increase was primarily driven by higher ethanol prices".
Global food prices have risen sharply in the past year, driven by harvest issues and high demand.