Food prices rose some 6 percent in July after three months of decline as a result of the United States's worst drought in over 50 years, according to the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organisation.
Its food price index, which measures the monthly change in international prices of a basket of food commodities, averaged 213 points, 12 points higher than June, but still some way below the peak of 238 points reached in Feb 2011.
The rise in the overall index was prompted by a 17 percent increase in cereal prices compared to June, nearing the all-time high set in April 2008, which triggered widespread food riots across the globe.
Extensive drought in the United States forced maize prices up almost 23 percent in July. Wheat forecasts have also been hit as Russia's production prospects worsen.
Perversely, world meat prices declined 1.7 percent compared to June, and dairy prices stayed at June levels, following five months of decline.
Russia this week alleviated market concerns that it might impose grain export restrictions to prevent national shortages as it did in August 2010.
Deputy prime minister Arkady Dvorkovich claimed such measures were not necessary at present. But he could not rule out the possibility of introducing export tariffs early next year.
Russian restrictions in 2010 were strongly condemned by the Food and Agriculture Organisation for further reducing supply on international markets, helping to drive prices even higher.
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Source: Pig World
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