Global food prices were some 3.5 per cent lower than in 2017 and almost 27 per cent below the high point reached in 2011, said the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
The FAO Food Price Index for 2018 as a whole averaged 168.4 points.
“While the international prices of all major cereals rose over the last year, those of the other tracked commodities declined, with sugar dropping the most,” the FAO said.
The FAO calculates the FFPI using the average of five commodity group price indices — meat, dairy, cereal, vegetable oil, and sugar.
“Falling world output of wheat and maize contributed to the increase in prices during 2018, although overall global supplies of all the major cereals remained more than sufficient, leaving inventories still at high levels,” FAO said.
The index remained stable in December, with the rising international cereal prices offsetting declining sugar and dairy quotations.