The Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO)'s monthly Food Price Index decreased for a fourth consecutive month in July on the back of a sharp decline in international prices for maize, wheat and certain oilseeds. According to the UN organisation the falling prices reflect ample supplies for these commodities.
Based on the prices of a basket of internationally-traded food commodities, the FAO Food Price Index averaged 203.9 points in July 2014, down 4.4 points (or 2.1%) from a revised value in June and 3.5 points (or 1.7%) below the July 2013 level.
"The lingering decline of food prices since March reflects much better expectations over supplies in the current and forthcoming seasons, especially for cereals and oils, a situation that is expected to facilitate rebuilding of world stocks," said FAO senior economist Concepción Calpe.
In contrast, meat prices rose for the fifth consecutive month in July, while sugar prices also remained firm.
"Livestock product markets have their own dynamics: in the case of meat, beef in particular, many exporting countries are in a herd rebuilding phase, which is limiting availability for exports and sustaining prices," Calpe said.
"As for dairy products, supplies available for trade appear to be abundant, which, along with a faltering import demand, has weighted on July's quotations," she added.