According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, world food prices rose significantly in November, reaching their highest point in more than two years, driven by jumps in the international prices of meat products and vegetable oils. The FAO Food Price Index, which tracks monthly changes in the international prices of commonly traded food commodities, averaged 177.2 points over the month, up 2.7% from October and 9.5% from the same period a year earlier.

The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index rose by 10.4% in November, as palm oil price quotations rose amid robust global import demand, increased use for the production of biodiesels, and expectations of possible supply shortages next year. Rapeseed and soy oil values also rose.

The FAO Meat Price Index increased by 4.6%, its largest month-on-month increase in more than a decade. Price quotations for bovine and ovine meats rose the most, buoyed by strong import demand, especially from China ahead of year-end festivities. Pig and poultry meat prices also rose.

The FAO Sugar Price Index rose by 1.8% from October, buoyed by mounting indications that world sugar consumption in the coming year will surpass production, which is being hampered by less-than-ideal growing conditions in Thailand, India, France, and the United States.

The FAO Cereal Price Index, by contrast, declined by 1.2% amid stiff competition among the world’s leading wheat exporters. Rice values also fell while U.S. maize export prices remained under downward pressure even as those for Argentina and Brazil were generally firmer.

The FAO Dairy Price Index rose marginally from October, nudged up as milk production in Europe entered its seasonal low and global demand remained strong.

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