The Food Prices Indices are out from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The overall Food Price Index climbed 9 bps to a level of 215 in December. Meat climbed 1 bps to 142, dairy remained flat at 208, cereals climbed 15 bps to 238, oils and fats climbed 20 bps to 263, and sugar climbed 25 bps to 398.
Yes, you can accurately think of those increases as the actual average worldwide change in prices. Meat increased 0.01% in December, cereals increased 0.15%, and so forth. It also means that the food price index increased 41 bps (0.41%) in 2010, with meat prices up 22 bps, dairy prices down 8 bps, cereals up 68 bps, oils and fats up 94 bps, and sugar up 22 bps.
JP Morgan's downgrade of Safeway on concerns that rising food costs will eat away at profits seems more and more well-founded.
 Weighted average of 3 poultry meat quotes, 4 bovine meat quotes, 2 pig meat quotes, and 1 ovine meat quote.