ROME – The Food Price Index fell in January for the first time in three months, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations reported. The index averaged 203.4 points for the month, down 1.3 percent from December and 4.4 percent compared to a year ago. FAO attributed the decline to lower prices for meats, cereals, sugars and oils.

The meat price index declined by 1.7 points, or 1 percent, to an average of 185.2 points in January. Prices for pork and sheep meat declined, while beef and poultry prices increased marginally on demand from China and Japan, according to FAO.

Prices for sugar and vegetable oils declined 5.6 percent and 3.8 percent respectively, while increased supplies of cereal crops helped to lower cereal prices, which eased 1.6 percent from December and as much as 23 percent compared to January 2013.