March 7, 2013 / 9:27 AM / 4 years ago

World food prices stable in Feb-FAO

ROME, March 7 (Reuters) - Global food prices held steady in February as falling wheat prices offset higher oils and dairy prices, the United Nations' food agency said on Thursday, forecasting increased wheat output in 2013.

The FAO Food Price Index, which measures monthly price changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy, meat and sugar, averaged 210 points in February, unchanged from January.

The Rome-based agency forecast world wheat production in 2013 at 690 million tonnes, up 4.3 percent from the 2012 harvest and the second largest crop on record after that of 2011.

It also raised its estimate of world cereal output in 2012 by 4 million tonnes to 2.306 billion tonnes.

World cereal stocks at the close of crop seasons ending in 2013 are now seen at 499 million tonnes, FAO said, up about 4 million tonnes from its last forecast in February. (Reporting by Catherine Hornby)

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