food price index continued to rise since mid-2020

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) monthly report showed an increase in the global food price index last January. Especially in terms of cereal, vegetable oils and sugar, the index rose by 4.3%, for the eighth month in a row.

FAO said monthly changes in global food price index averaged 113.3 points last January, the highest since July 2014.

Food Price Index

FAO index monitors world food prices world-wide, including sugar, grains, vegetable oils, dairy, and meat.

The report said sugar price index increased by 8.1% compared to last December.

Prices increase mostly resulted from concerns over lower global availabilities, following worsening crop prospects in the EU, the Russian Federation.

FAO Cereal Price Index

Cereal prices recorded a monthly increase of 7.1%, led by global corn prices, which rose 11.2%, an increase of 42.3% compared to January of 2020.

Experts attributed the rise to the continued scarcity of global supplies, amid large purchases from China.

Vegetable Oil

The report said vegetables oil price index increased by 5.8% last January, the highest since May 2012.

Palm oil was produced with less than expected in Indonesia and Malaysia because of the heavy rains and the ongoing shortage of a migrant workforce.


Dairy products rose by 1.6% over the past month. This followed the rise in Chinese purchases before the upcoming New Year holidays according to the Chinese calendar, and in light of the seasonally low exportable supplies in New Zealand.


The meat price index increased by 1% from December 2020. This is due to the global imports of poultry meat increase, specifically from Brazil, following the outbreak of bird flu. The disease caused delays in production and exports by many European countries.

FAO serves developed and developing countries alike. The organization acts as a neutral forum, where all nations meet on a peer-to-peer basis to negotiate agreements and policy discussions.

It is also a source of knowledge and accurate information assisting countries to develop and improving agricultural, forestry and fisheries practices and ensure good nutrition and food security for all.

Read: foods you should not eat at breakfast

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