"Food Costs At Record High As U.N. Warns Of Volatile Era"

"Record high global food prices showed no sign of relenting following a rash of catastrophic weather, highlighted by a major U.S. snowstorm and a cyclone in Australia, which could put yet more pressure on prices and spark further unrest around the world.

The closely watched U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization Food Price Index on Thursday touched its highest level since records began in 1990.

The index rose for the seventh month in a row to 231 in January, topping the peak of 224.1 in June 2008, when the world was last gripped in a food crisis.

'These high prices are likely to persist in the months to come,' FAO economist and grains expert Abdolreza Abbassian said in a statement."

Svetlana Kovalyova and John Mair report for Reuters February 4, 2011.

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Monday, February 7, 2011