Posted on April 05 2012 – 10:23 AM – Posted by: Doug Brady
MILAN, April 5 (Reuters) – World food prices are likely to rise for a third successive month in March, and could gain further beyond that, with expensive oil and chronically low stocks of some key grains putting food inflation firmly back on the economic agenda.
Food prices grabbed world policy makers’ attention after hitting record highs in February 2011 and stoking protests connected to the Arab Spring wave of civil unrest in some north Africa and middle eastern countries.
Prices later receded, but an upturn which began in January, initally seen as a pause in the overall downtrend, has persisted.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) will update its monthly Food Price Index on Thursday and the organisation says prices could rise more in the short and medium term as grain supply tightens and energy prices stay high.
“You can see prices in the near term rising even further,” FAO’s senior economist and grain analyst Abdolreza Abbassian told Reuters ahead of the index update.