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Price indices for vegetable oils, dairy, sugar drive January decline, while cereals, meat were largely stable, says UN body…

Global food prices fell for the 10th consecutive month in January, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported on Friday.

The FAO Food Price Index averaged 131.2 points in January, down 0.8% from the previous month.

The decline in the main reading was led by decreases in the price indices of vegetable oils, dairy, and sugar, while those for cereals and meat remained largely stable last month.

The FAO food price index is a trade-weighted index that tracks international market prices of five major food commodity groups.

The vegetable oil price index fell 2.9% month-on-month in January, due to lower world prices of palm, soy, sunflower seed, and rapeseed oils.

Driven by lower international prices of butter and milk powders, the diary price index was down 1.4% from December to a 12-month low in January.

The sugar price index was 1.1% lower, marking the first decline after sharp rises in the previous two months.

“Strong harvest progress in Thailand and favorable weather conditions in Brazil outweighed the impact on prices due to concerns over lower crop yields in India, higher gasoline prices in Brazil, which support demand for ethanol, as well as the Brazilian real’s appreciation against the US dollar,” the FAO said.

The meat price index dropped marginally by 0.1% in January, its seventh consecutive monthly decline, while the cereal price index was up 0.1%.​​​​​​​

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