ROME (Reuters) - World food prices edged up in March, as sharp rises in sugar and vegetable oil prices more than offset a plunge in dairy prices, the United Nations food agency said on Thursday.
The Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) food price index, which measures monthly changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat and sugar, averaged 151.0 points in March against a downwardly revised 149.5 points the month before.
The index remains near a seven-year low after four consecutive annual declines.
FAO gave its first forecast for world cereals output in 2016-17 at 2.521 billion tonnes, which would be 4 million tonnes lower than last year's level but still the third-highest performance on record.
Food prices on international markets in March were almost 12 percent lower than a year ago, FAO said.
(Reporting by Isla Binnie, editing by Crispian Balmer)