(ROME) - A new report by the United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization warns that global food prices - already at record levels - will continue to grow higher. Rising food prices have been cited as one of the reasons behind recent instability in regions like the Middle East.
World food prices, which have hit new peaks every month for the past seven months, surged 3.4 percent in January, according to the Food Price Index. The index reached 231 points in January, the highest level since its inception in 1990.
"The new figures clearly show that the upward pressure on world food prices is not abating," said FAO economist and grains expert Abdolreza Abbassian. "These high prices are likely to persist in the months to come. 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."
Indexes that measure the price of cereal, wheat, maize, oils/fats, sugar and dairy all showed an increase in January. The FAO Meat Price Index, however, remained steady amid declining meat prices in Europe and a slight increase in the cost of meat exports from Brazil and the United States.
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