ROME, ITALY — For the second consecutive month global commodity prices fell in July, according to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).

The FAO’s Food Price Index, which tracks monthly changes in the international prices of commonly traded food commodities and was released on Aug. 5, averaged 123 points in July 2021, 1.2% lower than the previous month although still 31% higher than its level in the same period of 2020.

The index tracks changes in the international prices of the most globally traded food commodities.

The FAO Cereal Price Index was 3% lower in July than in June. International maize prices fell 6% based on projected yield projections in Argentina, improving production conditions in the United States. Decreasing import demand hampered prices of other coarse grain prices like barley and sorghum. Freight costs and logistical challenges lowered rice prices to a two-year low.

Unlike the other cereals, wheat prices increased 1.8% in July over dry weather and crop condition concerns in North America.

Despite a rise in palm oil prices, the FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index reached a five-month low as soy, rape and sunflower seed oils declined.

“A lower biodiesel blending mandate in Argentina pressured soy oil prices lower, while those for rape and sunflower oils were influenced by prospective record supplies for the 2021-22 season,” the FAO said.

The FAO Sugar Price Index increased by 1.7% in July based on firmer crude oil prices and worries of the recent frosts on yields in Brazil.  

The FAO Meat Price Index jumped slightly on increased import demand of poultry meat in East Asia and limited production expansion in some regions.