ROME, Oct.6 (Xinhua) -- The Food Price Index climbed 2.9 percent in September from August, mainly driven by a surge in dairy products prices, according to data released by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Thursday.
Prices for grains and cereals, the largest component in the index, fell 1.9 percent, due to good rice harvests in Asia. But that was not enough to offset gains in other sectors.
The biggest increase came from dairy products, which saw prices jump 13.8 percent due to low milk output in Europe.
Sugar prices also went up, rising 6.7 percent because of bad weather in Brazil, the world's leading sugar producer.
Prices for fats and oils, meanwhile, rose by 2.9 percent, and meat prices were flat.
With the increase in September, the overall index is now 10 percent higher than it was a year ago.
The index has now climbed in seven of the last eight months, after nearly two years of steady declines.
Notwithstanding the recent increase in prices, FAO's Food Outlook report predicted prices would remain "well balanced" over the next year, with agriculture production expected to be even.
The next installment of the FAO index, which is based on a basket of 55 goods and 73 price quotations in five major food commodity groups, will be released on November 10. Enditem