The FAO Food Price Index averaged 206.7 points in December, nearly unchanged from the previous month, with a sharp increase in dairy prices and high meat values balancing out a steep decline in sugar quotations and lower cereal and oil prices.
For 2013 as a whole, the index averaged 209.9 points - down 1.6 percent from 2012, and well below 2011's peak of 230.1, but still the third highest annual value on record.
Large supplies pushed down international prices of cereals (with the exception of rice), oils and sugar. However, dairy values peaked in 2013, and meat also hit a record.
The FAO Dairy Price Index averaged 264.6 points in December, a rise of 13.2 points over November. Demand for milk powder, especially from China, remains strong, and processors in the southern hemisphere are focusing on this product rather than on butter and cheese.
The FAO Meat Price Index averaged 188.1 points in December, just slightly above its November level. Prices for bovine and pig meat moved higher: demand from China and Japan have resulted in beef prices showing consistent growth since last June. Prices for poultry were stable, while those for sheep meat moved lower. Still, in 2013, the index remained historically high, well above pre-2011 levels.
Thursday January 9, 2014/ FAO.