According to a report posted on the website of the United Nations for Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), world food prices rose slightly in February, boosted in particular by cereals.

FAO Food Price Index averaged 175.5 points in February, its highest value in almost two years, marking a 0.5 percent increase from its revised January value and 17.2 percent above its February 2016 level.

“The FAO Cereal Price Index rose 2.5 percent from January, led by increasing prices for wheat, even as maize and rice prices also posted modest increases” the report revealed.

The increase pushed food prices on international markets to their highest level since February 2015.

The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index bucked the trend, declining 4.1 percent amid slowing global import demand for palm oil, along with higher soy crop forecasts for Brazil and Argentina, two important exporting countries.

According to FAO , meat Price Index rose 1.1 percent, buoyed by higher bovine meat prices as ranchers in Australia rebuilt their herds. The Dairy Price Index rose slightly, led by butter and whole milk powder.

“The FAO Sugar Price Index rose 0.6 percent in February, as ongoing supply tightness in Brazil was only partly offset by expanded beet plantings in the European Union” it said.

FAO on thursday also released its first forecast of global wheat production in 2017, projecting 744.5 million tonnes, which would signal a 1.8 percent decline from its record 2016 level.