The United Nations food agency says world food prices rose during March, driven by increases in grains and dairy costs.
The Food and Agriculture Organization’s food price index measures monthly changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat, and sugar. The March index was 1.1 percent higher than the February number. When compared to a year ago at the same time, food prices were .7 percent higher than March of 2017.
An FAO statement says, “Declines in price quotations for sugar and most vegetable oils were offset by increases for maize, wheat, and most dairy products.” The FAO says global cereal grains production was up in 2017 to 2.64 billion tons, 33 million tons higher than the previous year. However, the FAO also expects production of maize and wheat to decline in 2018, based on early forecasts.
The agency predicts wheat output of nearly 750 million tons this year, one percent lower than in 2017.