FAO's Food Price Index falls after 12 months of consecutive gains

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A harvester reaps rapeseeds in a field on the outskirts of Minsk, Belarus, Aug. 5, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

World food prices fell in June, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported Thursday, the first time the prices declined in a year.

The 2.5-percent decline in the FAO Food Price Index was not nearly enough to counter the record-setting 12 consecutive months of increase that has still left the overall index 33.9 percent above its levels from June 2020.

Three of the five sub-indexes fell in June, led by a 9.8-percent decline in prices for vegetable oil. FAO said vegetable oil prices were pushed lower by palm, soy, and sunflower oils.

Grains and cereals, the largest component in the index, fell by a more modest 2.6 percent, though they remained more than a third higher than their levels a year ago. FAO said the fall in June was due to lower prices for corn. Rice prices also fell due to lower transportation costs.

Dairy prices edged 1.0 percent lower.

Two other sub-indexes saw prices rise in June, with meat prices rising 2.1 percent and sugar prices gaining 0.9 percent. FAO said meat prices were pushed higher by higher demand from East Asia. Sugar prices, meanwhile, inched higher due to worries about the impacts of extreme weather in Brazil.

The monthly FAO Food Price Index is based on worldwide prices for 23 food commodity categories, covering prices for 73 different products compared to a baseline year.

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