Global food prices hit a five-year high in December, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said Thursday. 

The FAO Food Price Index soared 2.5% on a monthly basis, averaging 181.7 last month, due to strong rallies in vegetable oils, sugar and dairy markets, said the FAO.

The figure for 2019, however, was 171.5 points on average, up 1.8% from previous year.

The vegetable oil price index in December rose 9.4% from the previous month, reaching a 25-month high.

“The latest upturn was primarily driven by firming palm oil prices, while soy, sunflower and rapeseed oil values also increased,”

Read more: World food prices at 5-year high in December: UN