A gauge of global food prices fell for the fifth consecutive month in August, led by continued softening in wheat markets, but remained 7.9% above the level a year ago.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s food price index averaged 138 points last month, down 1.9% from July.

International wheat prices fell for the third month in a row, dropping 5.1% in August, due to better production prospects in North America and Russia and the resumption of exports from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports, FAO said.

Global wheat prices were still 10.6% above their level a year earlier, FAO said.

World corn prices rose about 1.5% last month, “largely influenced by lower production prospects in the European Union and the United States of America due to hot, dry conditions, while the resumption of exports from Ukraine prevented prices from increasing further,” FAO reported.

Prices for meat, dairy and vegetable oil also were down in August.

The cost of vegetable oil fell 3.3% to a level slightly below where it was a year ago.

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“World soy oil prices rose moderately due to concerns over the impact of unfavorable weather conditions on production in the United States of America, but the gain was more than offset by lower quotations for palm, sunflower and rapeseed oils, reflecting increased availabilities of palm oil from Indonesia, due to lower export taxes, and a gradual resumption of sunflower oil shipments from Ukraine’s ports,” FAO said.

Dairy prices declined by 2% in August, reflecting expectations of increased New Zealand supplies, but were still 23.5% above their level a year ago.

Meat prices declined by 1.5% last month, led by declines in the cost of beef and poultry, but FAO’s meat index was still 8.2% higher than in August 2021.

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