The Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) has said Global agricultural food commodity prices slumped sharply in July, as all the major traded items posted notable declines, led by dairy and sugar.

According to a statement on its website “the FAO Food Price Index averaged 168.8 points, 3.7 percent below their June level, the biggest monthly drop since late last year. The index had been steadily rising in 2018 until June.”

The FAO Dairy Price Index led the slide, declining 6.6 percent, with butter and cheese quotations dropping faster than those for whole and skim milk powders. “The FAO Sugar Price Index fell 6 percent to a nearly three-year low, largely driven by improved production prospects in India and Thailand, both important sugar-producing countries”, the statement added.

Expectations of lower output in Brazil, the world’s largest producer and exporter, limited the fall in international sugar prices. For cereal, the Price Index declined 3.6 percent from June and is now below its year-ago level. Export quotations for wheat, maize and rice all declined, although wheat and maize values edged higher towards the end of July.

The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index was 2.9 percent lower, its sixth consecutive monthly decline, and is now at its lowest level since January 2016 while The FAO Meat Price Index declined 1.9 percent from its June value. The FAO Food Price Index is a measure of the monthly change in international prices of a basket of commodities.