Moving upward for the third consecutive month, global food prices hit a six-month high in August, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on Thursday.

The food price index increased 2% on a monthly basis, averaging 96.15 last month, as a weaker US dollar provided support to international prices of most agricultural commodities, the FAO said.

It noted in August the price increases were more pronounced for sugar and vegetable oils with cereal prices also firming, though more modestly.

On the other hand, meat and dairy values kept steady near their July levels.

The FAO Food Price Index is a trade-weighted index that tracks international market prices of five major food commodity groups.

The sugar price index averaged 81.1 points in August, up 6.7% from the previous month.

The latest month-on-month increase reflected the prospects of a reduction in production due to unfavourable weather conditions in the EU as well as in Thailand, the world’s second largest sugar exporter.

The dairy price index averaged 102.0 points last month, almost unchanged from July.

The vegetable oil price index averaged 98.7 points in August, up 5.9% month-on-month and reaching its highest level since January 2020.

The cereal price index averaged 98.7 points in August, up 1.9 from July.

“Among the major cereals, sorghum, barley, maize, and rice prices rose the most,” the FAO noted.

The meat price index averaged 93.2 points in August, almost unchanged from its July value.

“The quotations for bovine and poultry meat declined, caused by a weaker pace of import purchases, notwithstanding reduced slaughter of animals and processing in key producing regions.

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