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World food prices now top June 2008 spike: UN

World food prices now top June 2008 spike: UN (GIS, KFT, SLE) (by Matt Andrejczak)

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- World food prices in December hit a record high, surpassing the June 2008 peak, according to an index of 55 food commodities compiled by the United Nation's Food and Agricultural Organization. The December 2010 index reading hit 214.7 points, topping the previous all-time high of 213.5 points in June 2008, when agricultural commodities and oil price skyrocketed. For 2010, the index climbed to 179.1 points, up from 151.5 points in 2009. Food prices for the full year are still not as high as 2008 when the index ended at 190.9 points. In 2010, prices for meats, dairy products, and sugar all went up. Major food companies, including General Mills (GIS), Kraft Foods (KFT) and Sara Lee (SLE), are raising list prices on certain items to blunt the commodities spike.