ROME – Global food prices are on a downward trend, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

The FAO Food Price Index declined for the fourth consecutive month in August, reaching its lowest levels since June 2012, the agency reported. The index averaged 201.8 points in August, nearly 4 points below its July value and 11 points (or 5.1 percent) less compared to the comparable month a year ago. FAO attributed to overall decline to weaker international prices for cereals and oils. The Food Price Index measures the monthly change in the international prices of a basket of food commodities.

Meat, dairy and sugar prices registered slight increases, according to the agency. The FAO Meat Price Index gained 2.2 points, or 1.3 percent, to average 175.0 points in August.

The Dairy Price Index advanced 2.8 points to average 239.1 points. This represents a 1.2 percent increase compared to July and a 37 percent gain over its level in August 2012, according to FAO. August prices increased for all the dairy products that make up the index, except butter.

The Oils&Fats Price Index averaged 185.5 points. This represents a gain of 5.7 points, or 3.0 percent below the July value and the third consecutive monthly decline.