Source: Robert Besser

ROME, Italy: The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations stated, on Thursday, that food prices rose throughout the world for a third consecutive month in October, recording a new 10-year high and again driven by price rises in cereals and vegetable oil.

The FAO food price index, which tracks international prices of the most traded food commodities, averaged 133.2 points last month, the highest since July 2011 and a revised September figure of 129.2.

The index was up 31.3 percent year by year in October.

Driven by failed harvests and strong demand, agricultural commodity prices rose sharply over the past year.

In October, the FAO’s cereal price index rose by 3.2% percent from the previous month, led by a 5 percent jump in wheat prices.

Regarding wheat prices, the FAO said, “Tighter availability in global markets due to reduced harvests in major exporters, especially Canada, Russia, and the U.S., continued to put upward pressure on prices.”

World vegetable oil prices also set a record high, surging 9.6 percent on the month, partly due to increased palm oil prices caused by continued labor shortages in Malaysia, the FAO added, even as global sugar prices dropped by 1.8 percent in October.

The FAO, which is based in Rome, cut its global cereal production prediction in 2021 to 2.793 billion tonnes, from 2.800 billion in October.