The index measures monthly changes in international prices of cereal, vegetable oil, dairy, sugar and meat prices. It measures the average of the five commodities group prices indices weighted with average export shares of each of the groups.
The index averaged 166,8 in May, which was 43,6 points lower than the same time last year, the FAO said on its website yesterday. International cereals, dairy and meat prices declined, while oils and sugar markets firmed.
According to the FAO very favourable crop predictions for later this year kept international prices for cereals down.
Vegetable oil prices went up with palm oil prices specifically rising because of concerns of El Nino developments that could affect production in Southeast Asia later this year, the FAO said in a statement.
“Large unsold stocks of milk produce in New Zealand and large export supplies in Europe kept dairy prices down,” said the FAO statement.
Poultry meat was affected by import restrictions by countries fearing large outbreaks of infectious avian influenza from the U.S.A.
The index releases statistics once a month.