ROME (Reuters) - Global food prices rose in March, the United Nations' food agency said on Thursday, as dairy costs surged and cereals prices held steady.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation's 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 pct from 210.7 in February.
The Rome-based agency raised its estimate of world cereal output in 2012 to 2.309 billion metric tons, up 3 million metric tons from a forecast made in March.
It said world cereal production could recover strongly in 2013, barring bad weather, driven by an expansion of plantings brought about by attractive prices and a recovery in yields from below-average levels in 2012.
(Reporting By Catherine Hornby. Editing by Steve Scherer.)