World food prices dip in August: UN body

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GENEVA: Global food prices fell in August but remained above the level of the same month last year, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on Thursday. The food price index dropped 1.1% on a monthly basis, averaging 169.8 last month, due to sharp falls in cereal and sugar prices, the FAO said. However, the figure was up 1.1% from its August 2018 level.

The FAO Food Price Index is a trade-weighted index that tracks international market prices of five major food commodity groups. The cereal price index in August slipped 6.4% from the previous month, driven by sharp declines in the prices of wheat and major coarse grains, particularly maize. The FAO Sugar Price Index was down 4.0% from July, due largely to the weakening of the Brazilian real, as well as prospects of larger shipments by India and Mexico, it said.

Last month, the vegetable oil price index climbed 7.5% from a month earlier, marking an 11-month high. The rise reflects firmer values for palm and several other oils, the FAO noted. The meat and dairy price indexes both posted a 0.5% rise during the same period.

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