World food prices reached a three-year high and a 3.1% increase in 2020 over 2019, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said.
The FAO Food Price Index also soared 2.2% monthly, to an average of 107.5 last month, driven by increases in the prices of vegetable oils, dairy products, meat and cereals, the UN agency said.
The vegetable oil price index in December increased 4.7% from the previous month, reaching the highest level since September 2012.
“The continued strength in December was mainly driven by strong palm oil stocks, while soy, rapeseed and sunflower stocks also rose. International palm oil prices rose due to persistent supply shortages in major producing countries, ”FAO explained.
Dairy products rose 3.2% month-on-month in December, driven by strong global import demand and concerns about the adverse impacts of warmer and drier weather conditions on Oceania’s milk production.
For its part, the meat price index registered a monthly increase of 1.7% in December, the FAO said.
Cereal prices in December also increased 1.1% compared to November.
The sugar price index averaged 87.0 points in December, slightly down 0.5 points from the sharp rise in November.
The FAO Food Price Index is a trade-weighted index that tracks international market prices for five major groups of food products. (I)