The Monthly Food Price Index averaged 116.0 points in February 2021, 2.4 percent higher than January, marking the ninth month of consecutive rise. The index by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization reached its highest level since July 2014.
The increase was led by strong gains in the sugar and vegetable oil sub-indices, while cereals, dairy and meat also rose but to a lesser extent. International sorghum prices increased the most, up 17.4 percent in February and 82.1 percent above year-ago levels, driven by ongoing strong demand from China. International corn prices also rose .9 percent from the previous month. Wheat export prices remained nearly stable in February, but up 19.8 percent from last year. Vegetable oil prices continued strength reflected by firmer prices. Dairy prices were up 1.7 percent, and meat prices up .6 percent. The report found sugar prices up 6.4 percent from January, the second consecutive monthly increase and its highest level since April 2017.