World food prices rose in August, after two consecutive months of falling, driven by high prices for sugar, wheat and vegetable oils, announced the FAO on Thursday (2).
The food price index of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) increased 3.1% compared to July, standing at 127.4 points, which represents 32.9% more than there is a year.
This indicator, which measures the monthly variation in international prices for the basic food basket, is approaching its record level (137.6 points), which was registered in 2011.
Sugar rose 9.6% in one month “due to fears that frosts will damage crops in Brazil”, the world’s biggest exporter of the product, FAO said in a statement. This increase was mitigated, however, by “good prospects for production in India and the European Union,” added the organization.
The price of vegetable oils increased 6.7% in August compared to the previous month, reaching “their historical levels due to the persistent fear of a production below its potential and the retention of reserves that has been applied in Malaysia for this reason”, explained to FAO.
Rapeseed oil and sunflower oil also increased their prices.
Cereals in general registered an increase of 3.4% of their value. Specifically, wheat is 8.8% more expensive due to lower crop prospects in several major exporting countries.
On the other hand, the price of corn fell 0.9% due to the improvement in production projections in Argentina, the EU and Ukraine, which reduces the poor production prospects in Brazil and the United States.
In general, meat prices increased slightly in August. Sheep and beef remained due to the significant Chinese demand. Poultry rose on the back of increased import demand from East Asia and the Middle East.
In turn, pork fell in this index due to lower demand in China and lack of dynamism in European demand.
Finally, dairy product prices also fell slightly in August.
“The fall in international powdered milk prices (…) more than offset the rise in the price of butter and cheese,” said FAO.
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