Global food prices have reached a record high point according to figures released overnight by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation.

6-01-2011 faofoodpriceindices

The FAO’s Food Price Index of 55 commodities reached 215 in December (the average from 2002-2004 = 100) passing the previous high in May 2008 of 214.

“There is still, unfortunately, the potential for grain prices to strengthen on the back of a lot of uncertainty,” Abdolreza Abbassian, senior economist at the FAO, told Bloomberg by phone from Rome. “If anything goes wrong with the South American crop, there is plenty of room for them to increase.”

“In 2008 we had rapid increases in petroleum prices, fertilizer prices and other inputs,” Abbassian said. “So far, those increases have been rather constrained. It doesn’t really reduce the fear about what could be in store in the coming weeks or months.”

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