Food prices worldwide remained steady in November although vegetable oil prices rose by 2.3%, according to the benchmark United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Food Price Index (FFPI) released on 2 December.

The FFPI averaged 135.7 points in November, almost unchanged from the previous month, with month-on-month decreases in prices for cereals, dairy and meat, almost offsetting increases in sugar and vegetable oil prices.

At its current level, the index stood only marginally above – 0.3% - its corresponding value in November 2021.

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

Meanwhile, the FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index averaged 154.7 points in November, up 3.4 points (2.3%) following a decline for seven consecutive months.

The increase was driven by higher international palm and soyabean oil prices, more than offsetting lower rapeseed and sunflower oil quotations, the FAO said.

International palm oil prices rebounded in November, supported by renewed global import demand due to competitive prices relative to those of other edible oils, as well as concerns over lower production potentials due to excessive rainfall in parts of major growing regions in Southeast Asia.

Meanwhile, world soyabean oil values increased slightly, mainly held up by ongoing, robust demand from the biodiesel sector, particularly in the USA.

By contrast, international rapeseed and sunflower oil prices dropped in November, held back by expected ample global supplies and the extension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative respectively, the report 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.