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Global food commodity prices fell in June for the first time in 12 months, according to the benchmark United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Food Price Index released on 8 July.

The index tracks changes in the international prices of the most globally traded food commodities and averaged 124.6 points in June, down 2.5% from May, but still 33.9% higher compared with the same period last year.

The decline in June marked the first drop in the index following 12 consecutive monthly increases, reflecting declines in the prices of vegetable oils, cereals and dairy products, the FAO said. This more than offset generally higher meat and sugar prices.

The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index averaged 157.5 points in June, falling by 9.8% from May and marking a four-month low.

“The sizeable month-on-month drop mainly reflects lower prices of palm, soyabean and sunflower oils,” the FAO said.

“After rising for 12 consecutive months, international palm oil quotations retreated in June, chiefly influenced by prospective seasonal production gains in leading producing countries and a lack of fresh import demand. Meanwhile, subdued global import demand also exerted downward pressure on soya and sunflower oil prices. In the case of soyabean oil, expectations of lower-than-earlier anticipated uptake from biodiesel producers in the USA further weighed on prices.”