PARIS : World food prices rebound from lows. Getting a boost from rises in vegetable oil, meat and dairy products.

World food prices rebounded in March from a three-year low, boosted by increases in vegetable oils, meat and dairy products, according to the United Nations food agency's latest price index.

The Food and Agriculture Organization's [FAO] index, which tracks the most globally traded food commodities, averaged 118.3 points in March, up from a revised 117 points the previous month, the agency said on Friday.

The February reading was the lowest for the index since February 2021 and marked a seventh consecutive monthly decline.

International food prices have fallen sharply from a record peak in March 2022 at the start of Russia's war with fellow crop exporter Ukraine.

The FAO's latest monthly reading was 7.7% below the year earlier level, it said.

In March, the agency's vegetable oil price index led gains, jumping 8% month-on-month, with all major oils registering increases.

The dairy index gained 2.5% for a sixth straight monthly rise, driven by cheese and butter prices, while the FAO's meat index added 1.7%, reflecting higher poultry and beef prices.

Those gains outweighed declines for cereals, which shed a 2.6% from February, and for sugar, which fell 5.4%. 

Wheat led the decline in cereals amid strong export competition and cancelled purchases by China. [Reuters]


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