UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — World food prices rose about 1.5 percent in April as a jump in prices for meat and dairy products overshadowed the impact of falling grain prices, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on Thursday.
FAO has released its first global grain production forecast for the year, with a record production forecast for 2019 after a decline in 2018.
The FAO Food Price Index, which measures monthly changes in a basket of cereals, vegetable oils, dairy products, meat and sugar, registered 170.1 points last month, compared to a revised average of 167.5 in March.
The previous reading for March was 167.0 points.
The index hit its highest level since June, but is still 2.3 percent below its level a year ago.
The FAO index for dairy prices jumped 5.2 percent from March to its fourth consecutive monthly increase on strong demand for butter imports and whole milk powder and cheese.
The price index of sugar and vegetable oil rose but the grain price index fell 2.8 percent last month, its fourth straight decline as wheat led the decline after expectations of abundant production this year affected prices.
In its first forecast this year, FAO forecast cereal production to record a record high of 2.722 billion tonnes, up 2.7 percent from last year’s levels when production fell.
“Among the main cereals, wheat, maize and barley will contribute most to increasing grain production, with expected annual production increases of 5.0, 2.3 and 5.4 percent respectively,” FAO said.
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