Food prices rise on costlier oil: World Bank

"The World Bank's Global Food Price Index was only 1 percent below a year ago and 6 percent below the February 2011 historic peak. If the current forecasts for increased food production do not materialize, global food prices could reach higher levels, underscoring the need to remain very vigilant," the Bank said in a statement.

"After four months of consecutive price declines, food prices are on the rise again, threatening the food security of millions of people. Putting food first must remain a priority for the international community and in our work in developing countries," Xinhua quoted Otaviano Canuto, World Bank Vice President for poverty reduction and economic management, as saying.

According to the quarterly report, prices of all key staples increased between December and March, except for rice, due to both abundant supply and strong competition among exporters. Maize prices increased by 9 percent, soybean oil by 7 percent, wheat by 6 percent and sugar by 5 percent. 

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