World food price rose in January, the United Nation Food Agency has said.
This was largely driven by a sharp rebound in dairy price quotations as well as firmer prices of vegetable oils and sugar, the agency highlighted.
According to the food price index released today on the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nation website, the food price index (FFPI) averaged 164.8 points in January 2019.
This showed it was up almost three points (1.8 per cent) from December 2018 but still 3.7 points (2.2 per cent) below the corresponding month last year.
The index is a measure of the monthly change in international prices of baskets of food commodities, and it consists of the average of five commodity group price indices which are cereals, oilseeds, meat, sugar, and dairy products.
The FAO cereal price index averaged 168.1 points in January, up marginally from December and almost 11.5 points (7.3 percent) above its January 2018 level.
The FAO vegetable oil price index rose by 4.3 per cent from the previous month, while its sugar index rose 1.3 per cent and its cereal index made marginal gains in December.
The FAO meat price index was unchanged. FAO lifted its latest world cereal production forecast for 2018 to 2.611 billion tonnes, slightly higher than the December reading, reflecting upward revisions for maize, wheat, and rice.
The FAO dairy price index averaged 182.1 points in January, up 12.2 points (7.2 per cent) from December 2018.
The sharp rebound followed seven months of falling prices.
All dairy products represented in the index registered higher prices in January, with Skim Milk Powder (SMP) quotations rising by as much as 16.5 per cent month-on-month.
The FAO Sugar Price Index averaged 181.9 points in January 2019, up 2.4 points (1.3 per cent) from December 2018.
International sugar prices were largely influenced by movements in the Brazilian currency (Real), which gained strength against the United States dollar.