ROME – Improved production and supply outlook for most commodities stifled increases in international prices for most commodities in the FAO Food Price Index for May.

The index averaged 207.8 points in May, down 2.5 points, or 1.2 percent, from April, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations reported. The index was down nearly 7 points, or 3.2 percent from a year ago. The Food Price Index is based on the prices of a basket of internationally-traded food commodities.

"We went into May with concerns over unfavorable weather conditions, especially in the US, and geopolitical tensions in the Black Sea region, but towards the second half of May, we began to see lower wheat prices following improved weather conditions and the continuation of regular shipping patterns from the Ukraine," said Abdolreza Abbassian, FAO senior economist.

Meat prices were flat compared to April with an average of 189.1 points in May, according to the FAO. The FAO Dairy Price Index averaged 238.9 points, representing a second sharp monthly fall, and a decline of 12 points, or 5 percent, over April.

Sugar was up 9.3 points, or 3.7 percent, averaging 259.2 points, while vegetable oils averaged 195.3 points, down 3.7 points, or 1.8 percent from April on lower quotes of palm, soy and rapeseed oils.

The FAO Cereal Price Index declined 2.4 points, or 1.2 percent to average 204.4 points. The index was 30 points, or 13 percent, below last year's average, according to the FAO.