ROME – The Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) food price index for October stabilized as declines in meat and dairy prices were offset by higher sugar and vegetable oil prices.

The index slipped to 192.3, its seventh consecutive monthly decline, but a marginal 0.2 percent drop from the revised September figure, FAO noted.

FAO's Meat Price Index declined 1.1 percent or 2.3 points from September to 208.9, still more than 10 percent above its level a year ago. Meat prices broadly declined, as pig herds recovered in several countries hit by porcine epidemic diarrhea virus. Growing cattle herds in Australia also pushed down beef prices, FAO said.

Dairy prices retreated 1.9 percent on lower prices for butter and milk powder prices. Increased output in Europe weighed on prices while many producers contend with Russia's ban on cheese imports. The sub-index for dairy products dropped 3.5 points from September to 184.3, and 66.8 points, or 26.6 percent down from October 2013.

The Sugar Price Index rose 4.2 percent to 237.6 points due to drought in parts of Brazil, leading to reports that the sugarcane crop will be smaller than expected. Meanwhile, the vegetable oils sub-index rose for the first time since March, to 163.7 points in October, up 1.0 percent, or 1.6 points from September.