The FAO Food Price Index rose by nearly two percent or four points from December to January – its first increase since July 2011.
Prices of all the commodity groups in the index registered gains last month with oils increasing the most, followed closely by cereals, sugar, dairy products and meat. At its new level of 214 points, the index stood 7 percent lower than in January of last year, however.
The FAO Cereal Price Index averaged 223 points in January, up 2.3 percent (5 points) from December. International prices of all major cereals with the exception of rice rose, with maize gaining most, 6 percent. Wheat prices also gained, though less significantly.Prices mostly reflected worries about weather conditions affecting 2012 crops in several major producing regions. Fears of decline in export supplies in the Commonwealth of Independent States also played a part.
The FAO Oils/Fats Price Index rose to 234 points in January, up 3 percent (6 points), from December. Firming import demand for palm and soy oils, combined with a seasonal decline in palm oil production were the main driving forces behind the increase.
The FAO Meat Price Index averaged 179 points, half a percent (1 point) above its December value. Prices of the various meat types followed mixed directions, with pig meat up 2.8 percent on expectations of strong imports by China and poultry down by one percent.
Thursday February 9, 2012/ FAO.