World food prices drop for third straight month

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ROME:World food prices fell for the third consecutive month in June, due to falling prices for most cereals and grains as well as vegetable oil prices, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization said Thursday.

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Prices for grains and cereals — the largest component in the index — dropped 5.2 percent compared to May, due to decreased demand for wheat and corn.

In contrast, rice prices inched higher due to the suspension of large public stock sales in Thailand, but that increase was more than offset by the decrease in worldwide wheat and corn prices.

Vegetable oil prices slipped 3.3 percent in June, and dairy and sugar prices were also lower, though in each case the drop was less than 1 percent.

Meats were the only one of the five sectors monitored in the index to see prices rise in June, though it was by just 0.7 percent. It was a jump in pig meat prices that was the main driver of the increase.

Overall, the FAO Food Price Index averaged 206 points in June, 3.8 percent lower than in May. The index is now 2.8 percent lower than a year earlier.

FAO’s World Food Outlook is based on a basket of 55 goods and 73 price quotations in five major food commodity groups. The next installment will be released on Aug. 7. PNA

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