Global food prices kept slumping in July، sharpest monthly fall since late 2017، the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on Thursday.
The food price index averaged 168.8 points in July، registering a sharp drop of 3.7 percent from June's index -- 173.7 points -- the FAO said in a statement.
The FAO food price index is a trade-weighted index that tracks international market prices of five major food commodity groups.
"The FAO dairy price index led the slide، declining 6.6 percent، with butter and cheese quotations dropping faster than those for whole and skim milk powders،" it said.
It added that the sugar price index slipped to the lowest point for the last three years -- down 6 percent -- mostly driven by elevated sugar production in sectoral giants such as India and Thailand.
Assumptions of lower crop in Brazil -- world's biggest sugar producer and exporter -- bounded the dip in global sugar prices، according to the FAO.
The cereal price index slashed 3.6 percent month-on-month in July، falling below last year's output.
Meanwhile، export quotations for wheat، maize and rice also saw a decrease.
The vegetable oil price index was at its record low since January 2016 -- falling 2.9 percent in July month-on-month، following the six-month consecutive drop.
"Part of the July slide was driven by spill-over weakness from the soybean market، which is affected by the trade dispute between China and the U.S.،" FAO said.
The UN body also said that the meat price index was also down 1.9 percent last month، compared to June، adding that it was adjusted up due to strike of the truck drivers related to higher beef export prices from Brazil.
The next data of FAO food price index for August is due on Sept. 6.