Global food index in March rises amid gains from cereals and dairy
Grains and dairy products pushed global food prices upward in March while sugar and vegetables were lackluster.
In its latest report, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said the index logged its second consecutive monthly growth at 1.1 percent while seeing a 0.7 percent uptick from a year ago.
The rise was attributed to “robust increases” in the prices of cereals which climbed 165.6 points and and of dairy products which grew 197.4 points — respectively, up 2.7 percent and 3.3 percent month-on-month.
Weather concerns such as a prolonged dryspell in the US and cold wet conditions in Europe were mostly to thank for higher wheat prices. As for maize, prices soar amid robust global demand while crop yields are projected for a slump, as is the case in Argentina.
FAO, however, forecasts the two major crop drivers declining in output toward the end of the year after cereal production hit a record 2.646 billion tons in 2017.
Meanwhile, sugar and vegetable oils dropped last month, averaging 186 points and 156.8 points, respectively.