By Reuters: Global food prices hit a 10-year high in October – News Couple

By Reuters: Global food prices hit a 10-year high in October

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A worker carries a bag of rice to a shop outside Hanoi on November 26, 2013. Vietnam offered the lowest price for supplying the Philippines with 500,000 tons of rice, bypassing Thailand’s offer of grain to boost stocks depleted by Typhoon Haiyan.

PARIS (Reuters) – Global food prices rose for a third consecutive month in October, hitting a new peak in 10 years, again driven by increases in cereals and vegetable oils, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization said on Thursday.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Food Price Index, which measures international prices of the most globally traded food commodities, averaged 133.2 points last month compared to a revised 129.2 points for September.

The September number was previously given as 130.0.

The October reading was the highest for the index since July 2011. On an annual basis, the index rose 31.3% in October.

Agricultural commodity prices rose sharply in the past year, driven by harvest setbacks and strong demand.

The FAO Cereal Price Index rose 3.2% in October from the previous month. This was led by a 5% jump in wheat prices, which jumped for the fifth consecutive month to reach its highest level since November 2012, the FAO said.

“The tight availability in world markets due to lower yields in major exporters, especially Canada, the Russian Federation and the USA, continued to put pressure on prices,” FAO said of wheat.

November wheat futures kicked off at new highs, with prices in the US hitting new highs since 2012, and approaching month Paris futures hitting a record high as import demand continues to recover. [GRA/] [GRA/TEND]

The FAO said global vegetable oil prices jumped 9.6% during the month to a record high, buoyed by further strength in palm oil prices as labor shortages in Malaysia continued to hamper production. [POI/]

In contrast, global sugar prices fell 1.8% in October, ending six consecutive monthly increases, according to the FAO.

The Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization cut its forecast for global cereal production in 2021, to 2.793 billion tons from the 2.800 billion estimated a month ago, according to its forecast for grain supply and demand.

This mainly reflects lower wheat production estimates for Iran, Turkey and the United States, which offset increased expectations for coarse grain production.

The expected global production of cereals will remain at a record high, but it will reduce projected demand, resulting in lower projected cereal stocks, the FAO said.

Demand was supported by a rising outlook for global grain trade to a new record high, buoyed by an increase in wheat trade.

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