UNITED NATIONS: Agricultural food prices dropped sharply worldwide since September 2009 offsetting some increases for those of sugar and cereals, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said on Thursday, according to foreign media sources.

According to the UN agency’s monthly Food Price Index, meat prices remained stable. An increase in international prices of bovine meat offset a decline for ovine meat, while prices for poultry remained stable.

The trade-weighted index tracks prices on international markets of five major food commodity groups: cereals, meat, dairy products, vegetable oils and sugar.

In July, says FAO, the dairy price index dropped 7.2 per cent from the previous month, mainly due to lower import demand from China, the Middle East and North Africa amid abundant European Union milk production which has resulted in good availability of dairy products for export.