Photo courtesy of FAO.
In December, the Index averaged nearly 172 points, unchanged from November.
The FAO Food Price Index is a trade-weighted index tracking international market prices for five key food commodity groups: major cereals, vegetable oils, dairy, meat and sugar.
During 2016, cereal prices experienced a steady decline, falling 9.6% from 2015 and dropping 39% from their 2011 peak. At the same time, sugar and vegetable oil prices rose over the year by 34.2% and 11.4%, respectively.
"Economic uncertainties, including movements in exchange rates, are likely to influence food markets even more so this year," said Abdolreza Abbassian, FAO senior economist.
FAO's Cereal Price Index, largely stable since September, increased 0.5% in the month of December, with rice and maize quotations firming up while larger-than-expected production estimates in Australia, Canada and Russia led to lower wheat prices.
FAO's Vegetable Oil Price Index rose 4.2% from November, capping a double-digit annual gain to reach its highest level since July 2014. Both palm oil and soy oil quotations rose, the former due to low global inventory levels and tight supplies, the latter on the prospect of rising use in the biodiesel sectors in North and South America.