Global food prices climbed 2.1% from February to March, marking the 10th month in a row prices have climbed, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations’ (FAO) food price index. The index now stands at 118.5 points, its highest level since June 2014.
“The increase was led by strong gains in vegetable oils, meat and dairy sub-indices, while those of cereals and sugar subsided,” FAO reports. The vegetable oil price index shot 8.0% higher to its highest level since June 2011. The dairy and meat price indices climbed 3.9% and 2.3% from February, respectively. The cereals price index fell 1.7% during March, ending an eight-month streak of rising prices. Prices are still up a dramatic 26.5% from March 2020.
The group expects global cereal production to climb for the third year in a row in 2021. It reports, “current crop conditions point to slightly better prospects compared to earlier expectations, lifting the preliminary 2021 global wheat production forecast to 785 MMT.” That would be a 10.7 MMT rise from FAO’s 2020-21 production estimate.