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World food prices reached a record high in January, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization said Thursday.
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The Rome-based FAO warned that prices are expected to keep rising and that inflation might create unrest in the hardest-hit countries.
“The new figures clearly show that the upward pressure on world food prices is not abating,” FAO economist Abdolreza Abbassian said in a release.
“These high prices are likely to persist in the months to come,” Abbassian said.
“High food prices are of major concern especially for low-income food deficit countries that may face problems in financing food imports and for poor households which spend a large share of their income on food.”
World food prices, as measured by the FAO Food Price Index, rose for the seventh consecutive month by 3.4 per cent from December, to 231 points. The index measures monthly price changes in a basket of foods including cereals, oilseeds, dairy, meat and sugar
In December, the index reached its highest level in nominal terms since the FAO started tracking food prices in 1990. In January, they soared to their highest levels ever, even when adjusting for overall inflation over the last 20 years.