According to a statement issued by the United Nations food agency on Thursday, prices of good rose globally for the seventh consecutive month in December with rise in the prices of prices of all the major categories, except sugar, last month.
The average value of the Food and Agriculture Organization’s food price index was at 107.5 points last month and its covers the changes that take place in the monthly prices of a range of food products of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat and sugar. The number in the previous month of November was at 105.2.
Previously, the November figure was stated by the agency to be 105.0.
The average point for the benchmark index for the entire year of 2020 was at 97.9 points which is the highest in the last three years and was 3.1 per cent higher than what the index had noted in 2019. The index value was however 25 per cent lower compared to its historical peak of 2011.
With a rise in price of 4.7 month on month in December, there was continued its strong rise in prices of vegetable oil in recent times while it had grown by 14.0 per cent in the [previous month of November compared to the prices in October. The index was higher by 19.1 per cent for the whole of 2020 compared to the previous year.
Prices of vegetable oil had been pushed up because of supply tightness in major palm oil producing countries, the FAO said. At the same time, a sharp hike in export duties in Indonesia also hurt trade in the product. There was also a rise in soy oil partially because of prolonged strikes in Argentina.
A more modest growth of 1.1 per cent in December compared pot the previous month was noted for the cereal price index. The index averaged 6.6 per cent above 2019 levels for all of 2020.
The Rome-based FAO said that there was also rise in the export prices for wheat, maize, sorghum and rice in December which was partly because of increasing concerns over growing conditions and crop prospects in North and South America as well as in Russia.
In December, there was a 3.2 per cent month on month rise in the dairy index. But for the entire of 2020, the average index dropped by about 1.0 per cent compared to the index in 2019.
Strong demand for import globally because of growing concerns over drier and warmer conditions on Oceania’s milk producing region as well high internal demand in Western Europe there was a rise in all components of the index in December.
There was a 1.7 per cent rise in the meat index in December while a rebound was noted in the month in poultry quotations, the FAO said. This was partly because of the impact of avian influenza outbreaks in Europe.
No forecast for worldwide cereal harvests in January was issued by the FAO.
(Adapted from MoneyControl.com)