World food 

prices jumped toward 

 a record last month

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Global food prices jumped toward a record last month, further adding to the surging cost of living for consumers.

The United Nations’ index of prices rose 1.1% in January, pushed up by more expensive vegetable oils and dairy.

The commodities tracked by the gauge are used in most grocery store products or fed to animals from which those items are produced.

Sugar marked the only commodity that eased during the month, while costs for meat, grain, dairy and vegetable oils rose.

Crop supplies also face risks from bad weather and geopolitical tensions. 

A dry spell has hit South American soy fields, while palm oil prices have reached a record due to labor shortages and export restrictions. 

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