Food prices have surged to a new global peak, hitting their highest level since July 2011 and extending the 30% increase recorded last year, according to the latest United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report.
The FAO Food Price Index, which tracks the international prices of a basket of food commodities, found that in October, the cost of a basket of food was up 3% on the previous month.
The prices were reportedly pushed by high commodity prices, worldwide disruptions to supplies, and factory closures, along with political tensions.
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The FAO Cereal Price Index grew 3.2%, while the price of wheat surged 5% due to reduced harvests from major exporters such as Canada, Russia, and the US. The organization also found the international prices of other major cereals had grown.
The price of vegetable oil hit an all-time high of 9.6% in October, marking a fourth consecutive month of price hikes. Prices for vegetable oil were “largely underpinned by persisting concerns over subdued output in Malaysia due to ongoing migrant labor shortages,” the FAO said.
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Meanwhile, dairy prices saw an increase of 2.5%, while the price of meat dropped 0.7%, “marking the third monthly decline.” After six consecutive months of increases, sugar prices also declined by 1.8% due to limited global demand and large surpluses for export.