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World Food Prices Hit All Time High

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World food prices rose to a record high in January, according to the UN's Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).

The FAO Food Price Index, which measures the wholesale price of basic foods within a basket, averaged 231 points last month, up by 3.4% from December.

It is the seventh monthly rise for the index.

"These high prices are likely to persist in the months to come," FAO economist Abdolreza Abbassian said.

The individual group components of the index, apart from meat, all registered rises in January.

The Cereal Price Index averaged 245 points in January reflecting rises in the price of wheat and grain. This was driven higher by flooding in Australia, which is a major wheat exporter.

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This trend has been going on for quite a while now. I have been following a UK economist who feels that this trend has been a strong influence on the political crisis in Egypt and Tunisia as well as pointing to potential inflation for the rest of the world.

Commodity prices have continued their recent rises with the CRB spot index up a further 1.77 to 558.28 yesterday which is yet another recent high. If we take a look at the foodstuffs component it has now risen to 487.6. So those struggling to feed themselves in Egypt will find that the problem is getting worse as this latest surge in food prices which started in late November came from 400 on the foodstuffs index giving us a rise now of just under 22% in just over 2 months.


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