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Food Prices Rise; Meat Price Rise Insignificant

by 5m Editor
20 February 2012, at 8:00am

KUWAIT - The global food price index is up by two per cent, the first rise since July 2011, said the Kuwait Foodstuff Merchants and Manufacturers Union.

In spite of the rise, current prices are seven percent less when compared to the same period last year, said Chairman Abdallah Al-Baijan. The Kuwait Foodstuff Merchants and Manufacturers Union compares reports on international and domestic food markets, he explained.

Sugar faces the highest rise globally, followed by cooking oil, grain, dairy products and meat, reports Kuwait Times. Most grain recorded a 2.3 per cent rise in January, while rice maintained its level. Corn, however, rose by six percent, affected by fears over the ability of South American producers to balance the global supply and demand.

Wheat prices rose by 1.5 per cent as a result of the extremely cold weather globally, particularly for major producers Russia. The freezing conditions are impeding large exports from the country. Sugar also rose considerably, by 2.3 per cent, due to its production being negatively affected by the warm weather in Brazil, the number one producing nation in the world.

Weather conditions have also raised the price of cooking oils by three per cent, particularly palm and soya. The production of both has decreased due to the global winter season.

Meat witnessed insignificant rises last month, which did not exceed 0.5 per cent. Chicken prices decreased by one percent as a result of the improving value of the US dollar against the currencies of producers like Brazil.

Beef maintained its high levels, reflecting the continuing weak supply. Lamb and mutton continue to witness a weak demand and are less expensive. Dairy product prices rose by 2.5 per cent after a five-month consecutive dip. The rise comes due to the weakness in the supply of butter and cheese, primarily in the United States.