Global food prices fell in March for the 12th consecutive month driven by drops in prices of cereals and vegetable oils, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported on Friday. The FAO Food Price Index averaged 126.9 points in March, falling 2.1% from February and 20.5% from the peak hit in March 2022. The FAO food price index is a trade-weighted index that tracks international market prices of five major food commodity groups. The cereal price index dropped 5.6% from a month ago, with international wheat prices falling 7.1% owing to strong output in Australia, improved crop conditions in the EU, increased supplies from Russia, and ongoing Ukrainian exports from its Black Sea ports. The vegetable oil price index dipped 3% from February as ample world supplies and subdued global import demand weighed down soy, rapeseed, and sunflower oil quotations. “While prices dropped at the global level, they are still very high and continue to increase in domestic markets, posing additional challenges to food security,” said Maximo Torero, chief economist at FAO. “This is particularly so in net food importing developing countries, with the situation aggravated by the depreciation of their currencies against the dollar or the euro and mounting debt burden,” he explained. The dairy price index slipped 0.8% in March, thanks to lower price quotations for cheese and milk powders, while butter prices increased. On the other hand, indices for sugar and meat increased 1.5% and 0.5%, respectively, in March.