ROME – The FAO Food Price Index rose 6 percent in July, but meat prices declined, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.

The FAO Meat Price Index declined 1.7 percent or three points from June to an average 168 points in July. FAO attributed market weakness to the decline in the four major meat categories, in particular pork prices, which declined 3.6 percent.

The Index averaged 213 points, up 12 points from June, FAO said, but was still well below the peak of 238 points reached in February 2011. FAO attributed the Index's sharp increase to a surge in grain and sugar prices. The Index measures the monthly change in the international prices of a basket of food commodities.

Severe drought conditions in the United States pushed up corn prices by almost 23 percent in July.
International wheat prices also jumped 19 percent on negative reports about production prospects in the Russian Federation and expectations of firm demand for wheat as feed because of corn supplies, FAO said.