ROME, July 4 (Xinhua) -- World food prices revere a five-month trend of rising after declining a modest 0.3 percent in June, with lower dairy and vegetable oil prices compensating for higher prices in other sectors, according to information released Thursday by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The slight decline left prices virtually unchanged compared to a year ago, after a series of monthly declines in the second half of last year and steady rises over the first five months of 2019.
Dairy prices fell 11.9 percent in June, following five months of sharp increases. The prices fell on the back of increases in exportable dairy products from Australia and New Zealand. Prices for vegetable oil fell as well, though by a smaller amount: over supply of palm and soy oil pushed the sub-index down 1.6 percent.
Prices for grains and cereals -- the largest component in the index -- rose 6.7 percent, almost cancelling out the lower dairy prices. FAO said corn prices pushed the sub-index higher, rice prices were mostly stable.
Meat prices rose 1.5 percent on rising demand from Asia and sugar prices were 4.2 percent higher due to an appreciation in the value of the real, the currency in Brazil, which is the world's leading sugar producer.
The monthly FAO Food Price Index is based on worldwide prices for 23 food commodity categories covering prices for 73 different products compared to a baseline year.
The next index is scheduled to be released on Aug. 1.