Global food prices rise for 10th straight month

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Global food commodity prices rose for the 10th conservative month in March, led by vegetable oils and dairy products, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations has said.

The FAO said this in its Food Price Index report released on Thursday. The index tracks International prices of most commonly traded food commodities.

The FAO food price index averaged 118.5 points in March, 2.1 per cent higher than in February and reaching its highest level since June 2014.

It said the March increase was led by the FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index which rose 8.0 per cent from the previous month and making its highest level since June 2011.

“The persistent strength of the index was driven by higher values of palm, soy, rape and sunflower oils.

“International palm oil prices registered a tenth conservative monthly increase as lingering concerns over tight inventory levels in major exporting countries coincided with a gradual recovery in global import demand.

“Meanwhile, soy oil prices rose sharply, largely underpinned by prospects of firm demand especially from the biodiesel sector,” it said.

The FAO Dairy Price Index averaged 117.4 points in March, rising for the 10th conservative month and lifting the index to nearly 16 per cent above its value in the corresponding month last year.

“In March International butter prices rose mainly underpinned by somewhat tight supplies in Europe due to a slow start to its milk production season and increased internal demand in anticipation of a foodservice sector recovery.

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