New Delhi: Food inflation fell to a four-month low of 9.18 per cent for the week ended March 26, prompting experts to suggest that record foodgrain production will keep the numbers stable in the coming months even.

Food inflation fell from 9.50 per cent in the previous week. The rate of price rise during the week ended March 26 was the lowest since the week ending November 27, 2010, when it was recorded at 8.69 per cent.

Although good crop production will keep food inflation low, experts fear that spiralling prices of crude oil in the international market could affect overall price situation.

The prices of pulses declined by 5.39 per cent during the reporting week, while other food items like rice, wheat and milk recorded modest increases.

Items like fruits and vegetables, however, continued to remain dear. The government had on Wednesday said that India's foodgrains production is estimated at a record 235.88 million tonnes in the 2010-11 crop year, ending June, on the back of the highest-ever output of wheat and pulses.

"While prices of vegetables and fruits would continue to display some volatility, reflecting their perishable nature, prices of cereals and pulses may show a mild decline in the coming weeks. Overall, a favourable base effect is expected to aid a decline in food inflation in the coming weeks," ICRA Economist Aditi Nayar said.

Food inflation was in double digits for most of the last fiscal. However, it has shown signs of slight moderation since the last week of February and this is the second consecutive week when it was a single-digit figure.

Ongoing political turmoil in Libya, close on the heels of similar unrest in Egypt, Tunisia and Bahrain, has pushed international crude prices to over USD 100 per barrel.

While pulses reported a decline during the week under review, the trend was the opposite for other items.

(Agencies)