ROME, ITALY — The benchmark index of international food commodity prices declined in January for the 10th consecutive month, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said on Feb. 3.

The FAO Food Price Index averaged 131.2 points in January, 0.8% lower than the previous month and 17.9% below its peak reached in March 2022. The index tracks monthly changes in the international prices of commonly traded food commodities. The price indices for vegetable oils, dairy and sugar drove the January decline, while those for cereals and meat remained largely stable.

In January, the FAO Cereal Price Index was essentially unchanged (up 0.1%) from December and stood 4.8% above its level of one year earlier. International wheat prices declined by 2.5% as production in Australia and the Russian Federation outpaced expectations. World corn prices rose marginally due to strong demand for exports from Brazil and concerns over dry conditions in Argentina. International rice prices, however, jumped by 6.2% from December, influenced by tighter availabilities, strong local demand in some Asian exporting countries and exchange rate movements.

The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index declined by 2.9% in January. World prices of palm and soy oils dropped amid subdued global import demand, while those of sunflower seed and rapeseed oils declined due to ample export availabilities.