Photo: Reuters
INTERNATIONAL - World food prices held steady in January from the month before, as rising prices for cereals and vegetable oils were balanced out by lower quotations for dairy and sugar, the UN food agency said yesterday. 

The Food and Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO) food price index, which measures monthly changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat and sugar, averaged 169.5points, nearly unchanged from December. International food prices were almost 3percent lower than last January, FAO said. Agricultural commodities have emerged from a highly volatile period and are expected to remain stable over the next decade. 

FAO raised its forecast for global cereals output in 2017 to 2.64billion tons, 1.3 percent higher than 2016’s harvest.