June 7, 2018 / 9:29 AM / a year ago

World food price index rises in May verses April: U.N. FAO

FILE PHOTO: A farmer tends to his water buffaloes on a rice paddy field in Cong Chua village, outside Hanoi September 10, 2014. REUTERS/Kham

ROME (Reuters) - World food prices pushed higher in May from April, with a steep increase seen in dairy quotations, while prices of cereals also rose, but at a slower pace, the United Nations food agency said on Thursday.

The Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) food price index, which measures monthly changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat and sugar, averaged 176.2 points last month against 174.1 in April.

It was the highest level since October last year. While dairy prices and cereals rose, vegetable oil and sugar markets pushed lower, FAO said.

FAO predicted wheat output of 754.1 million tonnes for 2018, saying forecasts for Argentina, Canada and the United States had risen, while official estimates from India also pointed to a higher-than-previously expected output there.

FAO forecast world cereal production in 2018 at 2.61 billion tonnes, 3.0 million tonnes higher than a preliminary projection made in May. It added that it expected global production to be down 1.5 percent on a yearly basis.

Reporting by Crispian Balmer; Editing by Gavin Jones

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