Rising sharpest since July 2012, global food prices hit a nearly 6-year high in November, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Thursday.

The food price index increased 3.9% on a monthly basis, averaging 105.0 points last month, as all sub-indices registered gain, the FAO said.

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

The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index rose the most in November, up 14.5% month-on-month, led by an ongoing rally in palm oil prices linked to sharp contractions in world inventory levels.

The sugar price index last month climbed 3.3% amid growing expectations of a global production shortfall in the upcoming marketing season.

The FAO Cereal Price Index went up 2.5% from October, for the fifth consecutive month.

The dairy price index rose 0.9% during the same period, continuing the upward trend registered in recent months and nearing an 18-month record high. The rise was stemmed from firmer butter and cheese prices.

Last month, the meat price index posted a 0.9% rise due to higher bovine, ovine, and pig meat prices while those of poultry meat declined.

FAO has further lowered its forecast for global cereal production in 2020, which now stands at 2.7 billion tons, still a record high.

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