The Vegetable Oil Price Index dropped by 8.7% in May, averaging 48.2% below the previous year’s level, according to the benchmark United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Food Price Index.

The FAO Food Price Index tracks changes in the international prices of the most globally traded food commodities.

“International palm oil prices fell markedly from April, as protracted weak global import purchases coincided with rising outputs in major producing countries,” the FAO said.

“World soyabean oil prices fell for the sixth consecutive month amid a bumper soyabean crop in Brazil and higher-than-expected stocks in the USA. Rapeseed and sunflower oil prices continued to decline on ample global supplies.”

The FAO Food Price Index averaged 124.3 points in May, down 2.6% from April and 22.1% below the record level reached last March.

Prices for most cereals and dairy products also dropped in May, according to the 2 June report.

By contrast, the FAO Sugar Price Index and the FAO Meat Price Index increased by 5.5% and 1% respectively compared to the previous month.

The FAO’s Vegetable Oil Price Index illustrates the changes in international prices of the 10 most important vegetable oils in world trade, weighted according to their export shares.