Global food index rises mostly on higher dairy prices

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Global food prices rose in February, with the FAO Food Price Index averaging 167.5 points, up 1.7 percent from January, in part driven up by sharp increases in dairy prices.

The Index, which is an indicator of the monthly changes in international prices of a basket of food commodities, is currently at its highest level since August 2018, but still nearly 2.3 percent below its value at the same month last year, the U.N. food agency said in a statement.

The FAO Cereal Price Index averaged almost 169 points in February, up marginally from January mostly on firmer maize prices.

The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index increased by 1.8 percent, to 133.5 points, marking its highest level since October 2018. The rise in February was mainly due to higher price quotations of palm, soy and sunflower oils.

The FAO Meat Price Index was up slightly, supported by higher prices of bovine and pig meat.

The FAO Dairy Price Index increased by 5.6 percent from January, driven by a strong import demand for Skim Milk Powder, Whole Milk Powder and cheese. An expected seasonal drop in butter production also contributed to pushing up butter prices.

The FAO Sugar Price Index rose by 1.2 percent from January, largely on concerns over production prospects in some of the main producing countries.

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, Indoasiancommodities.com. He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at shekhar.ghosh@indoasiancommodities.in.

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