FAO's monthly Food Price Index declined in December after three months of stability. Continued large supplies and record stocks combined with a stronger US dollar and falling oil prices contributed to the decline.
The December Food Price Index averaged 188.6 points, a drop of 1.7 percent from November, led down by sugar and palm oil.
For the whole of 2014, the Food Price Index averaged 202 points, down 3.7 percent from 2013, marking the third consecutive annual decline.
This year-on-year drop came despite FAO's sub-index for meat rising to an all-time high annual average of 199 points, up 8.1 percent from 2013. Cereals, by contrast, dropped 12.5% from the previous year, buoyed by forecasts of record production and ample inventories.
FAO's Food Price Index is a trade-weighted index that tracks prices of five major food commodity groups on international markets. It aggregates price sub-indices of cereals, meat, dairy products, vegetable oils and sugar.
Four of those indices fell in 2014 and are at, or close to, their lowest levels in five years.
All indices down except for meat
The FAO Meat Price Index also declined in December, down 1.9 percent from the previous month, as a stronger U.S. dollar curbed price quotations for beef and mutton from Oceania and pork from Europe. However, at 204 points, this index is near its monthly all-time highs, and on a full-year basis rose 8.1 percent in 2014 from 2013, the only commodity group to post higher average prices over the year.
Thursday January 8, 2015/ FAO.