Food prices hit record high in March

Paris

WORLD food prices jumped nearly 13 per cent in March to a new record high as the war in Ukraine caused turmoil in markets for staple grains and edible oils, the United Nations' food agency said on Friday (Apr 8).

The Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) food price index, which tracks the most globally traded food commodities, averaged 159.3 points last month versus an upwardly revised 141.4 for February.

Russia and Ukraine are major exporters of wheat, corn, barley and sunflower oil via the Black Sea, and Moscow's 6-week-old invasion of its neighbour has stalled Ukrainian exports. The FAO last month said food and feed prices could rise by up to 20 per cent as a result of the conflict in Ukraine, raising the risk of increased malnutrition.

The agency's cereal price index climbed 17 per cent in March to a record level while its vegetable oil index surged 23 per cent, also registering its highest reading yet, FAO said. REUTERS

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