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U.N.'s Food Price Index Rose in January
USAgNet - 02/11/2019

Global food prices began the year on a buoyant note, as the FAO Food Price Index averaged 164.8 points in January 2019, up 1.8 percent from the previous month.

A sharp rebound in dairy price quotations and firmer prices of palm and soy oils drove the increase, the United Nations agency said. The Food Price Index, an indicator of the monthly changes in international prices of a basket of food commodities, was still 2.2 percent below its January 2018 level.

The FAO Cereal Price Index averaged 168.1 points in January, up marginally from December. Prices of the major grains were generally firm amid tightening export supplies and robust world demand.

The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index rose 4.3 percent from the previous month, led by palm oil values responding to a seasonal production decline in the major producing countries. International soy oil prices also rose on the back of robust import demand for South American supplies.

The FAO Dairy Price Index rose 7.2 percent from December, reversing seven months of falling prices. Limited export supplies - due to strong internal demand - form Europe were the primary factor behind this, along with anticipated seasonal tightening of export availability from Oceania in the coming months.

The FAO Sugar Price Index rose 1.3 percent, a move largely influenced by the appreciation of the currency (Real) of Brazil, the world's largest exporter, against the U.S. dollar.

The FAO Meat Price Index was almost unchanged from December. The January value was calculated assuming stable meat prices in the United States of America, where official data were not available due to the government shutdown. Elsewhere, international price quotations for bovine, pig and poultry meat remained steady, while ovine meat prices declined in step with ample exportable supplies in Oceania.

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