Partly as a result of supply shortages and rising demand for wheat and palm oil, world food prices continued to rise in September.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) calculated that the September price index was 130 points, 1.2 percent higher than in August and 32.8 percent higher than a year earlier. The FAO Food Price Index is a trade-weighted indicator that takes into account the international market prices of the five most important food commodities – vegetable oils, cereals, meat, dairy products and sugar. In September, the grain price index exceeded the August level by an average of 2 per cent, with a 4 per cent rise in the price of wheat playing a decisive role. The average price of wheat increased by 41 percent compared to September last year. The FAO September vegetable oil price index rose 1.7 percent month-on-month and about 60 percent year-on-year as world palm oil prices rose to a 10-year high due to soaring global import demand and fears that a shortage of guest workers in Malaysia would dampen production. The price index for dairy products rose 1.5 percent and that for sugar 0.5 percent in September compared to August. The price index for meat products virtually stagnated in September and rose 26.3 percent from September last year. Last year, the average price index averaged 97.9 points, the highest in three years, 3.1 percent higher than in 2019, but more than 25 percent lower than the 2011 historic peak.