The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations says global food prices rose in May at their fastest monthly rate in more than a decade.

FAO's Food Price Index, averaging 127.1 points in May, was 4.8% higher than in April and almost 40% higher than in May 2020.

The index reached its highest value since September 2011 and currently rests at only 7.6% below its highest value recorded, in nominal terms. The spikes in the international prices of vegetable oils, sugar and cereals contributed to the surge in the index, FAO noted.

FAO's Cereal Price Index rose by 6%, the Vegetable Oil Price Index rose 7.8%, and the Sugar Price Index rose 6.8%. The Meat and Dairy Price indexes rose by 2.2% and 1.8%, respectively.

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FAO reported world cereal utilization for 2021-22 is expected to expand 1.7%. It predicts the world’s consumption of cereal will rise in tandem with the world’s population growth, paired with an increase in the use of wheat for animal feed.

By the close of the 2021-22 crop season, world cereal stocks are expected to increase by 0.3%. This rise would end a consecutive three-year decline of cereal stocks.

The FAO Food Price Index tracks monthly changes in the international price of a basket of commonly-traded food commodities.

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