Global vegetable oil prices hit an all-time high in October, according to the benchmark United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Food Price Index released on 4 November.

The index tracks changes in the international prices of the most globally traded food commodities.

Averaging 184.8 points, a 16.3 point rise month-on-month, the increase in the FAO vegetable oil index was driven by firmer price quotations for palm, soya, sunflower and rapeseed oils, according to the report.

“International palm oil prices increased for a fourth consecutive month… largely underpinned by persisting concerns over subdued output in Malaysia due to ongoing migrant labour shortages,” the FAO said.

Worldwide prices of palm, soya and sunflower oils were supported by revived global import demand, particularly from India where import tariffs on edible oils had been further reduced, according to the report, while the continued strength in international rapeseed oil prices was mainly due to continuing tight global supply/demand.

Rising crude oil prices had also supported vegetable oil values, the FAO said.

The FAO's vegetable oil price index illustrates the changes in international prices of the 10 most important vegetable oils in world trade, weighted according to their export shares.