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Vegetable oils give lift to FAO Food Price Index

Staff Writer |
Global food prices rose slightly in September, as firmer prices of vegetable oils and to a lesser extent dairy products offset declining prices for staple cereal grains.

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The FAO Food Price Index averaged 178.4 points for the month of September, up 0.8 percent from August and marking a 4.3 percent increase from a year earlier.

The FAO Food Price Index is a measure of the monthly change in international prices of a basket of food commodities.

The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index increased by 4.6 percent, driven primarily by palm oil, although values for soy, rapeseed and sunflower oils also rose.

The FAO Dairy Price Index rose by 2.1 percent from August, driven by butter and cheese prices at a time of supply constraints in Australia, New Zealand and the European Union. Meat prices were broadly unchanged.

The FAO Cereal Price Index declined by 1.0 percent, as maize and wheat quotations fell in step with strong supply and harvest prospects. FAO expects the current growing season to yield record worldwide cereals output.

The FAO Sugar Price Index was unchanged for the month, but it was about 33 percent below its year-ago level - a decline due to oversupply in world markets and a slowdown in demand.

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