» The FAO Food Price Index (FFPI) averaged 116.0 points in February 2021, 2.8 points (2.4 percent) higher than in January, marking the ninth month of consecutive rise and reaching its highest level since July 2014. The February increase was led by strong gains in the sugar and vegetable oils sub-indices, while those of cereals, dairy and meat also rose but by a lesser extent.
» The FAO Cereal Price Index averaged 125.7 points in February, up 1.5 points (1.2 percent) from January and 26.3 points (26.5 percent) above its February 2020 level. Among major coarse grains, international sorghum prices increased the most, rising 17.4 percent in February, up 82.1 percent above their values in the corresponding month last year, driven by ongoing strong demand from China. International maize prices also rose, albeit by only 0.9 percent from the previous month. Maize export prices in February were up 45.5 percent from the previous year, underpinned by continued strong import demand amidst shrinking export supplies. Wheat export prices remained nearly stable in February, but up 19.8 percent from last year’s level. International rice prices also edged up some more, driven by demand for lower quality Indica and Japonica rice.
» The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index averaged 147.4 points in February, gaining 8.6 points (or 6.2 percent) from January and marking its highest level since April 2012. The continued strength reflected firmer prices of palm, soy, rape and sunflower oils. International palm oil prices rose for a ninth consecutive month in February, fuelled by concerns over low inventory levels in leading exporting countries following below potential outputs. At the same time, soy quotations remained on an upward trajectory, mainly reflecting current global supply tightness prior to the arrival of the new crop in South America. As for rapeseed and sunflowerseed oils, international prices were underpinned by, respectively, lower than initially expected 2021 production prospects in the European Union and further tightening of export availabilities in the Black Sea region. Noticeably, rising crude oil prices also lent support to vegetable oil values.