Global food prices fell in July for the second consecutive month, the United Nations food agency said last Thursday.
The FAO Food Price Index, which tracks monthly changes in the international prices of commonly-traded food commodities, averaged 123 points in July, down 1.2% from June but still 31% higher than its level in the same period last year.
The July drop reflected declines in the quotations for most cereals and vegetable oils as well as dairy products.
The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index reached a five-month low, declining 1.4% from June. The decline was mainly due to lowering prices of soy, rape and sunflower seed oils.
The FAO Cereal Price Index fell by 3% from June, pushed down by a 6.0% month-on-month drop in international maize prices. However, wheat quotations edged 1.8% higher in July – reaching their highest level since mid-2014 – in part due to concerns over dry weather and crop conditions in North America.
The dairy prices fell by 2.8% in July due to decreases in prices of milk powder, butter, and cheese, according to the report.
At the same time, international rice prices hit two-year lows, impacted by currency movements and a slow pace of sales caused by high freight costs and logistical hurdles, the FAO said.
The report added that sugar price index rose by 1.7% in July – fourth monthly increase, and meat prices also increased due to high importation of poultry meat.
FAO and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in a report released last month said the prices of major food commodities are expected to ease in the coming decade as demand growth slows and output rises.