Global food prices fell for a fifth month running in September, the UN said on Thursday, as bumper cereals production is helping rebuild world food stocks.

The UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) food price index -- a measure of the monthly change in international prices of a basket of food commodities -- averaged 199.1 points in September.

Showing a drop of 2.3 points or 1.0 percent from August, the composite food price index is down by 5.4 percent from the beginning of the year.

The decline was due to the drop in the cereal price sub-index, which dropped 12.9 points, or by 6 percent, from August to stand at 197.7 points in September. Cereals prices are down 25 percent from one year ago.

The fall reflects "a generally favourable supply outlook, in particular for maize and rice," said the FAO.

The organisation trimmed its world cereal production forecast by 3 million tonnes to 2,489 million tonnes, which is still represents an 8.0-percent increase from the level last year.

Global cereals consumption is forecast at 2,415.5 million tonnes, with stocks expected to hit their highest level since 2001-2002 at 559 million tonnes.

The other FAO food sub-indices: dairy, oils, meat and sugar, rose slightly.

Sugar prices showed the biggest monthly increase, of 1.8 percent, due to unfavourable weather conditions hampering the harvest in Brazil, the world's top producer and exporter.


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