ROME (Reuters) - Global food prices rose in February in the sharpest climb since mid-2012, the United Nations food agency said on Thursday, due to higher prices in all commodity groups except meat.
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 208.1 points in February, up 5.2 points from a slightly revised January index of 202.9.
FAO said the strongest rises were in sugar, up 6.2 percent, and oils, up 4.9 percent.
FAO raised its global cereals output forecast to a record 2.515 billion tones, up 13 million tonnes from its previous forecast. It raised its estimate of world cereal stocks at end-2014 season slightly to 578.5 million tonnes.
Its first world wheat output forecast for 2014 was 704 million tonnes, a drop of 1.7 percent from the 2013 record harvest, but which would still be the second largest crop ever, FAO said.
(Reporting by Naomi O'Leary)
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