The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Food Price Index averaged 172.6 points in October, up 0.7 per cent for the month and 9.1 per cent from a year earlier. The staple grains’ index rose for the first time in three months.
October’s rise was driven primarily by jumps in sugar and dairy prices. The FAO sugar price index rose 3.4 per cent in October amid reports of production shortfalls in Brazil’s Centre South region and Maharashtra. The FAO dairy price index rose 3.9 per cent from September, led by rising prices of cheese and in particular butter, as a result of sustained internal demand in the European Union (EU) after a period during which stocks were drawn down. By contrast, the FAO oils/fats price index declined 2.4 per cent from September, largely linked to weaker palm oil quotations as a consequence of sluggish global import demand.