U.N.: Food prices set record in 2011

Jan. 12, 2012 at 5:52 PM
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NEW YORK, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Food prices around the world set a record in 2011 even though they dropped at the end of the year, the U.N. food agency said Thursday.

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization said its food price index dropped 27 points from its high in February to 211 in December. But the average for the year was 228, the highest since the index was created in 1990.

"International prices of many food commodities have declined in recent months, but given the uncertainties over the global economy, currency and energy markets, unpredictable prospects lie ahead," Senior Grains Economist Abdolreza Abbassian said.

Cereal prices dropped by an average of 4.8 percent last month, with the largest decline 6 percent for maize or corn. Wheat prices were down 4 percent and rice 3 percent.

Oils and fats also became cheaper and meat prices dipped because of a 2.2 percent decline in the price of pork.

A good harvest, weaker demand and a stronger U.S. dollar were credited for the price drops.

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