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World Food Prices Rise in March on Dairy Surge

Global food prices rose 1% in March, the United Nations' food agency said on Thursday, pointing to a surge in dairy costs, while cereals prices were little changed and seen facing downward pressure in coming months.Food prices spiked over the summer of 2012 fuelled by a historic drought in the United States and dry weather in other major producers. Prices eased slightly towards the end of last year but have been nudging higher again for the past two months.The Food and Agriculture Organisation's (FAO) price index, which measures monthly price changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy, meat and sugar, averaged 212.4 points in March, up 1% from 210.7 in February and its highest since October 2012."All the dynamic this month comes from the dairy," said FAO senior economist Concepcion Calpe. "In general the situation is relatively calm."FAO's dairy price sub-index jumped 22 points in March to 225.3, one of its largest changes ever recorded.The rise was fuelled mainly by prolonged ho...

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