A U.N. food agency is forecasting a 3.4 percent rise in world wheat production in 2011 but warns that the increase won't be as much as it was in previous years because of bumper crops.
The Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization says prices remained volatile in March, and that poor nations saw their import bills rise 20 percent because of higher international prices even with a 5.6 percent rise in wheat production last year.
The agency on Wednesday gave its first forecast for 2011 production.
Production increases for this year are forecast in countries hit by drought in 2010. Those nations include Russia _ which banned exports through 2011 to guarantee sufficient domestic supplies.