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World food prices up 3.9pc in October

BUSINESS
By Standard Reporter | November 6th 2015

World food prices rose in October, spurred by weather-driven concerns about sugar and palm oil supplies, but remained well below their equivalent level a year ago, the United Nations food agency said yesterday.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation's (FAO) food price index, which measures monthly changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy, meat and sugar, averaged 162 points in October against 155.9 the month before. FAO said this was the sharpest increase since July 2012, although food on international markets in October was still 16 per cent cheaper than a year earlier.

The FAO's sugar price index led the rise, jumping 17.2 per cent from September because of fears of heavy rains in the main sugar-growing regions of Brazil. The vegetable oil price index rose 6.2 per cent, partly on worries the El Nino weather phenomenon would hit Indonesian palm oil supplies in 2016. The FAO cut its forecast for world cereal output in 2015 to 2.530 billion tonnes - some 1.1 per cent below last year's record - from a previous estimate of 2.534 billion tonnes given last month.

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