Prices of food around the world went up in January, mainly due to a jump in vegetable oils index, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations reported last Thursday.
The FAO Food Price Index, which tracks monthly changes in the international prices of commonly-traded food commodities, averaged 135.7 points last month. The index is up 1.1% from December 2021.
Among the calculated commodities, the highest increases were seen in vegetable oils and dairy indices.
The FAO said its vegetable oils index rose 4.2% month-on-month in January to reach record levels. The increase is the result of reduced export availabilities and other supply-side constraints, especially labor shortages and unfavorable weather.
Referring to the latest vegetable oils price increase, Boubaker Ben-Belhassen, Director of FAO’s Markets and Trade Division, said “there is a concern the impacts of these constraints will not ease quickly”.
The FAO dairy price index increased by 2.4%, its fifth consecutive monthly rise, with the sharpest increases registered for skim milk powder and butter.
The FAO's cereal price index in January increased 0.1% from December. The global wheat prices declined by 3.1% on the back of large harvests in Australia and Argentina, whlie lower harvests and steady purchases by Asian buyers led to a 3.1% monthly increase in international rice prices.
Meat prices also rose in January, while sugar was the sole index to post a decrease, shedding 3.1% from the previous month due partly to favorable production prospects in major exporters India and Thailand, the FAO said.
In 2021, world food prices surged 28% to their highest level in a decade.