The overall food price index, calculated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations was up in August with a total of 216 points, up three points and 1.4% from August. FAO says the increase is attributed to dairy and meat prices and increases for cereals.
Those three indices – meat, dairy and cereal– were up 2.1%, 7%, and 1% respectively from August. The largest jump, dairy, is attributed to rising feed costs and strong world demand for dairy products, according to the FAO.
Large gains boosted the meat index, with a 6% gain in pig and a 2% gain in poultry sectors. Sheep and cattle were relatively stable.
Play between the cereal grains made for a three-point gain, or 1% index increase. Wheat and rice gains offset maize declines, the FAO reports, as maize availability limits exports.
August's cereal price index increase, averaging 263 points overall, is still below the 274-point peak of April 2008.
Sugar, oils and fats were down in August by 4.2% and .4% respectively. The FAO attributes oils and fats decline to decreasing palm oil resulting from seasonally high production and weak demand. Soy, sunflower and rapeseed oil were steady.
Sugar is down 95 points from September 2011, due to improved sugarcane harvest in Brazil, the FAO says. India, China and Thailand are also seeing improved crops.
Complete indices are below. For more information, visit the FAO website here.