Food Prices Rise in January

World food prices rose during January and remained near ten-year highs. The United Nation’s Food and Agricultural Organization vegetable oils pushed prices higher. Reuters says the Food Price Index tracks the most globally-traded food commodities. The index averaged 135.7 points in January, up from 134.1 during December. higher food prices are contributing to a wider surge in inflation as global economies try to bounce back from COVID-19. The FAO says those higher prices are a risk to the poor populations in countries that have to bring in most of their food. The vegetable oils index rose 4.2 percent month-on-month in January to reach a record level. The push higher in vegetable oils came from reduced availability of exports and other supply-side constraints like labor shortages and weather challenges. In a statement, the FAO’s Markets and Trade Division says, “There is a concern that the impacts of these constraints will not ease quickly.”

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