ITALY, Rome. World food prices rose for an eighth consecutive month in January, hitting their highest level since July 2014, led by jumps in cereals, sugar and vegetable oils, the United Nations food agency (FAO) said on Thursday.
The Food and Agriculture Organization's food price index, which measures monthly changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat and sugar, averaged 113.3 points last month versus an upwardly revised 108.6 in December. The December figure was previously given as 107.5.
Dairy prices rose 1.6%, underpinned by heavy Chinese purchases ahead of the upcoming New Year holiday. The meat index posted a 1% gain, led by brisk imports of poultry, especially from Brazil, amid avian influenza outbreaks that have hampered exports from several European countries.