FAO food price index hits record high in January

MILAN Thu Feb 3, 2011 3:31am EST

MILAN Feb 3 (Reuters) - Global food prices rose in January, with the FAO Food Price Index at a record high, above 2008 peaks when rising food prices sparked riots in several countries, the U.N Food and Agriculture Organisation data showed on Thursday.

Up for the seventh month in a row, the index was the highest since records began in 1990, in nominal terms, and topped the high of 224.1 in June 2008, during the food crisis of 2007/08.

The index, which measures monthly price changes for a food basket composed of cereals, oilseeds, dairy, meat and sugar, averaged 230.7 points in January, up from 223.1 points in December. (Reporting by Svetlana Kovalyova; editing by James Jukwey)

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