World food prices rose 2,1 percent in March, reaching levels last seen in June 2014, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reported Thursday, Xinhua reports.
Grains and cereals, the largest component of the index, fell 1,7 percent for the month, ending an eight-month upward trend. But the sub-index was still 26,5 percent higher than the previous year.
Prices for wheat, corn, barley and rice declined, although the FAO said the decline was limited by strong demand from China and India.
Sugar prices also fell, 4 percent compared to February, although they remained more than 30 percent above the levels of the previous year, FAO noted. But these declines were not enough to offset increases in other sectors, as all other sub-indices posted an increase in prices.
Dairy prices rose 3,9 percent in the month, driven by transportation problems in Europe and North America, and increased demand for powdered milk in Asia, especially China.
Meat prices, on the other hand, rose 2,3 percent due to increased demand for poultry and pork, while vegetable oil prices rose 8,0 percent, reaching their highest level since 2011.
The FAO Monthly Food Price Index is based on world prices for 23 food product categories covering 73 different products compared to a baseline year / Xinhua