World food prices hit 10-year high

[FILES] Paul Chinedu poses for a portrait in his shop in a market at Illaje Bariga, Lagos on June 29, 2021. – Since the start of the pandemic in 2019, food prices have risen by an average of more than 22%, according to official statistics, and feeding a family properly has become a daily challenge. (Photo by Benson Ibeabuchi / AFP)

Global food prices jumped to a 10-year high in October, a UN agency announced Thursday as it said the world’s cereal stocks were set to contract.

The Food and Agricultural Organization said its food price index, which tracks changes in the international prices of a basket of food commodities, rose three per cent over the month to 133.2 points.

The third consecutive monthly rise in the index brought it to its highest level since July 2011.

The sub-index for vegetable oils soared 9.6 per cent to an all-time high.

The cereals sub-index rose 3.2 per cent, driven by a five per cent gain in wheat prices as availability tightens due to reduced harvests in major exporting nations.

Meanwhile, the FAO said that despite an expected 0.8 per cent gain in overall cereals production this year to a record level, global inventories are expected to contract as consumption rises by 1.7 per cent on population growth and higher use for agriculture and industry.

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