FAO: World food prices hit record highs

FAO: World food prices hit record highs
# 03 March 2011 15:13 (UTC +04:00)
Baku - APA-Economics. World food prices hit record highs in February, after rising for an eighth consecutive month, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Rome said on Thursday, Economic Times reported.

FAO’s Food Price Index rose to 236 points from 231 points in January.

The index, which monitors average monthly price changes for a variety of key staples, showed the sharpest increases were for dairy products and cereals.

The 3.7-percent rise for cereals "reflected further gains in international maize prices, driven by strong demand amid tightening supplies, while prices rose marginally in the case of wheat and fell slightly in the case of rice."

Dairy prices meanwhile went up 4.0 percent from the previous month but were still below their peak of November 2007, the FAO said in a statement.

"Firm world demand continues to underpin prices" for dairy produce, it said.

The general rise in prices has been blamed on rising oil prices, adverse weather conditions in key crop-growing countries such as China and Russia and increased speculation on financial commodity markets.

International aid agencies have called on the international community to take urgent action to put an end to recent food price volatility.

France, as the current chair of the G20 group of leading world economies, has vowed to take action to stem rising food prices.