The world food prices hit a new historic peak in January, for the seventh consecutive month, according to latest data from the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations.
The FAO food price index, which tracks monthly changes in global food prices, recorded 231 points in January, up 3.4 per cent over December, the highest level since the FAO started measuring food prices two decades ago.
Rome-headquartered FAO is a specialised agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger by helping countries to modernize and improve agriculture, forestry and fishery practices.
The FAO index is based on a basket of five commodity groups including cereals, oils, sugar, dairy products and meat. Prices of all commodity groups except meat increased significantly in January over the previous month.
For comparison, the index was 90 in 2000, which doubled to 180 in January 2010. It has increased over 2.5 times since 2000, with maximum increases recorded for oils, which increased 4 times, and sugar 3.6 times.
FAO economist Abdolreza Abbassian said: ''The new figures clearly show that the upward pressure on world food prices is not abating. These high prices are likely to persist in the months to come.''