GLOBAL - The international prices for major food commodities saw a modest decline in July, following five consecutive months of increases.
The FAO Food Price Index (FPI) averaged 161.9 points in July 2016, slipping 0.8 per cent (1.3 points) below its level in June and 1.4 per cent below its level of July 2015.
The overall decline of the Index was largely caused by drops in international quotations of grains and vegetable oils, more than offsetting firmer dairy, meat and sugar prices.
The FAO Food Price Index is a trade-weighted index tracking international market prices for five major food commodity groups.
The Dairy Price Index rose by 3.2 per cent from the previous month, with butter prices seeing the sharpest rise in the group. Yet, they remain at very low levels compared to recent years.
The Meat Price Index increased by 1.3 per cent from its revised June value. Quotations for all meat products remained firm, underpinned by a shortage of pigs for slaughter in the EU and reduced output of sheep and bovine meat in Oceania.
International demand for meat remains strong, supported by a recovery in purchases by China and sustained imports by several countries elsewhere in Asia.
The Cereal Price Index fell 5.6 per cent from June, led by a sharp drop in maize prices due to favourable weather conditions in the key growing regions of the United States - the world's largest maize producer and exporter.
Falling for the third consecutive month, the FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index dropped 2.8 per cent from its level in June.
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