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World Food Prices Fall for Fourth Consecutive Year, UN Agency Says

FILE - A man pushes a cart with food items at a grocery store in Moscow, April 2, 2015.

World food prices fell for the fourth year in a row in 2015, amid plentiful supplies and a slowing global economy.

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization said prices of leading food commodities plunged 19 percent, led by dairy and sugar.

“Abundant supplies in the face of a timid world demand and an appreciating dollar are the main reason for the general weakness that dominated food prices in 2015,” said Abdolreza Abbassian, FAO senior economist.

Agricultural prices as measured by the FAO’s price index have fallen almost 30 percent since 2011, thanks to increased production. The index measures monthly changes in prices for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat and sugar.

In December, the index fell 1 percent from the previous month, with falling prices for meat, dairy and cereals more than offsetting gains in sugar and vegetable oils.