ROME – International prices for meat and dairy items were mostly unchanged in January, while the overall Food Price Index held steady at 210 points, according the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

The FAO Meat Price Index narrowly declined from December to average 176. FAO said price quotes of all meat categories were generally stable, although poultry and pork prices weakened slightly.

The Dairy Price Index was slightly higher compared to December, FAO reported. The Dairy Price Index averaged 198 in January.

The Oils/Fats Price Index rose 9 points or 4.4 percent to average 205 in January. The increase reversed declines recorded in the last four months, according to FAO. The agency attributed the rebound to palm oil on account of fresh import demand.

The Cereal Price Index declined 1.1 percent, or nearly three points, to 247 points in January, FAO reported. The Cereal Index has register declines since October, mostly on improved crop conditions.

The FAO Sugar Price Index declined 2.2 percent, or 6 points, to 268 point. Prices declined for the third consecutive month on expectations of a large global production surplus and hefty export availabilities in 2012-2013, notably in Brazil and Thailand, FAO said.